COMMENT: Product identity through TV sponsorship
Targeted marketing is what many believe every brand needs, helping it to reach its core audience rather than just the broad mass of consumers. Having reached the right consumers, the task is to convince them that the brand's values merge seamlessly with their lifestyles. One strategy is to sponsor specific television programs - a tactic recently adopted by both Wella and Kenco in the UK.
German personal care products maker Wella is adopting a very focused approach, sponsoring just one show - Girls In Love, a new children's television series. The show is aimed at the international market and features a young cast whom the producers, and Wella, hope will become stars.
By contrast, Kenco Rappor coffee is sponsoring a raft of programs on Channel 4 and E4, all aimed at the same "young, sophisticated and contemporary" audience, thus broadening the campaign's scope without jeopardizing its focus.
The advantage for advertisers is that most of their work is done for them. The target audience has already decided aligned itself with the show, eliminating the need to create an image from scratch, or to define the target audience's core values.
However, merely associating the brand with the consumers' values may be insufficient - the goal is to ensure that the brand actually does match these values, otherwise consumers will soon see through the pretence.
By associating them with the right TV program, marketers can present their brands as sharing the show's values, and by association the audience's. As long as the brand's ident - which screens just before and after the ad-breaks - is not totally out of touch with its audience, the brand has found a quick and relatively cheap way to insert itself into consumers' lives.
Related Research: Datamonitor, "Tweenagers" (DMCM0131)
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