Marketers targeting kids face a daunting task in the run-up to
With anywhere between six and ten brands advertising per ad break on TV,
it is becoming increasingly difficult for any single brand to stand out
from the competition.
As a result more advertisers are looking at sponsorship of kids’
programmes as a way around the ad-break clutter.
Last week (Marketing, September 3) Toy Options announced a pounds
600,000 sponsorship deal with GMTV’s two-hour Saturday morning
children’s show, Diggit.
The sponsorship, which GMTV claims is the largest deal struck for a
kids’ programme, gives the toy company nine seven-and-a-half-second
idents per show and will run over 16 weeks.
The broadcaster is not alone.
Channel 4 is looking for a sponsor with over pounds 1m to spend on its
morning kids’ segment, T4.
Similarly, ITV, which has just signed Wella Shock Waves to sponsor its
new youth-oriented music show CDUK, is also offering several showcase
opportunities themed around its CITV kids’ programmes.
Ray Magness, head of broadcast sponsorship at GMTV and the man behind
the Toy Options deal, is clear about the advantages a successful
sponsorship can offer. ’A good partnership between brand and programme
enhances both parties,’ he says.
’Toy Options has made highly creative stings which complement the
programme well. Consumers understand sponsorship and kids are very media
literate these days.’
Previous sponsorships have shown the impact such links can have. A
Millward Brown ITV tracking study of the link between Nestle’s Hippo
brand and Potamus Park found a high awareness of the deal. On average
the sponsorship reached 43% of the core target audience: women with
children below the age of four.
Nevertheless, advertisers considering using sponsorship to reach
children ought to be aware of the peculiarities of this audience - in
particular the need for a kids-oriented agreement that adds value to the
whole viewing experience.
’Kids are extremely visual about how they take out communication,’ says
Nick Walford, managing director of MindShare’s specialist sponsorship
division, Vision 40.
This maxim also extends beyond the creation of the idents. Those
sponsorships which work best are seen as those which introduce an
element of interactivity.
However, as with all marketing to kids, sponsorship of children’s
programmes remains sensitive.
’Sugar and confectionery sponsors are unlikely to be linked to
pre-school programming, although the regulations do not prohibit us,’
says David Prosser, director of sponsorship at Carlton.
Despite this, Walford remains confident that the advent of digital TV is
going to increase the attraction of sponsorship. ’When digital takes
hold and you can play around with how you view the monitor, sponsorship
is going to offer great opportunities, particularly with this audience,’
’The idea of knocking out a spot ad in the middle of Sooty is going to
seem very old hat.’
SPONSORSHIPS TARGETING CHILDREN
Brand Programme Network Start date
Pound Puppies Diggit GMTV Sept 98
Extreme Ghostbusters Diggit GMTV Sept 98
Dairy Lee Lunchables Scooby Doo ITV April 98
Pritt Stick Art Attack ITV Dec 97
Nestle The Birthday Club Cartoon Ntwk Dec 97
Smarties (Nestle) Watch Yr Own Wednesday Nickelodeon Aug 96
Hippo Potamus Park ITV Jan 96