Study: TV sponsorship helps build brand affinity

05 Jul 2017  |  Ellen Hammett 
Study: TV sponsorship helps build brand affinity

Yet more proof of TV's effectiveness as an advertising medium, there is new evidence to suggest that targeting people via their favourite TV shows has a positive and lasting impact on brand affinity.

The YouGov and House 51 study, commissioned by Thinkbox, found that on average, the personality fit between a viewer of a sponsored TV show and the sponsoring brand is 53% higher than the fit between the sponsoring brand and a non-viewer. This is because viewers have strong affinities with their favourite TV shows and sponsoring brands borrow from the show’s personality, encouraging viewers to feel that the sponsoring brand is more for them.

TV sponsorship was also found to increase awareness - especially for lesser-known brands, where both their brand and advertising awareness scores were substantially higher for viewers of the TV shows they sponsored. (Brand awareness was 17.2% points higher than for non-viewers and 1.1% points higher for well-known brands.)

TV sponsorships help to magnify brand stature as well. Because they are perceived to be costly and therefore signalling success, viewers of a sponsored TV show are significantly more likely to believe the sponsoring brand is popular than non-viewers (78% vs. 68%).

In terms of increasing automatic positive brand associations, viewers were twice as fast as non-viewers to agree they would recommend the sponsoring brand.

Brand health

The research also looked at the impact creative has on brand health metrics*, with creatively congruent campaigns more effective at shifting brand health metrics for viewers than campaigns where the creative fit is less obvious.

When the sponsorship creative was a good fit with the TV show, key brand health metrics for viewers of the sponsored show were 5% points higher than for non-viewers. When the fit was less obvious they were 2.4% points higher.

TV sponsorship also has a beneficial impact on brand health in the long-run: in the six months following the end of a TV sponsorship, whilst ad awareness fell, brand health metrics decayed at a far slower rate.

On average, looking at 16 completed sponsorships one month after they ended, the key brand health measures were unchanged. Six months after the sponsorships had ended they had reduced by 19%, meaning that 81% of the advantage gained with viewers of the sponsored TV show was still active.

“People judge you by the company you keep, and this is at the heart of TV sponsorship’s power," said Matt Hill, research and planning director at Thinkbox.

"Crucially, we’ve found very strong evidence that TV sponsorships’ impact is long lasting and that, if advertisers want to see them work at their hardest, they should ensure they’re integrated with the rest of their advertising and making use of the additional promotional tools the broadcasters provide.”


The research was split into two parts:

House 51 used a blend of mobile self-ethnographies, filmed depth-interviews, and a quantitative survey across eight programme partnerships, each time interviewing 300 viewers/non-viewers, to understand the mechanics of how TV sponsorship drives brand affinity.

YouGov combined their Brand Index database with their TV programme database (both of which survey 4,000 people every day) to provide evidence of the impact programme partnerships deliver for brand health and to uncover the key drivers of increased effectiveness.

*Brand health was measured in relation to brand:
- Impression (positivity/negativity towards brand)
- Reputation (proud/embarrassed to work for company)
- Quality (brand represents good/poor quality)
- Consideration (propensity to consider purchase)


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24 Jul 2017 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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