Scottish Courage is pushing back the frontiers of TV sponsorship by
snapping up a new TV series starring Jack Dee, the brand spokesman for
John Smith’s bitter.
In one of the most synergistic sponsorship deals to date, John Smith’s
has paid around pounds 250,000 to sponsor Jack Dee’s Saturday Night, a
new ITV series of six 45-minute programmes, which launches next week.
The sponsorship is designed to build upon the advertising association
between Dee and John Smith’s - Dee has been the star of the brand’s ad
campaigns for the past three years. This is the first time that a
successful advertising tie-in has been developed into a TV sponsorship
idea on ITV.
However, a spokeswoman from the Independent Television Commission
insisted that the sponsorship deal does not contravene ITC rules. ‘As
long as John Smith’s doesn’t run any of its ads during the breaks, and
as long as the sponsorship credits do not look like the advertising,
then there’s no problem with this kind of deal,’ she said.
John Nicolson, the marketing director of Scottish Courage, said that the
association with Dee had increased sales and brand awareness of John
Smith’s to an all-time high, in recent months toppling Tetley’s Bitter
from its perch as market leader.
The sponsorship deal was negotiated between Laser Sales, the TV sales
house for Granada Television, which commissioned the series, and
Courage’s media buying company, the Media Centre.
The sponsorship credits, created by GGT, have a similar humorous tone to
the TV ads and feature a house-to-house search for a sponsor for the
show. The sponsorship credits comprise a 15-second opening sequence, two
five-second break bumpers and ten-second closing credits.