LONDON: Nine in ten television viewers consider brands sponsoring programmes to be more premium and trustworthy than those engaged in other forms of advertising, according to a new study from a UK terrestrial channel.

Channel 4 commissioned research agency Consumer Insight to aggregate 107 individual Channel 4 sponsorship studies, including 257 waves of research that involved speaking to over 80,000 viewers over the past five years.

This found that 89% of viewers saw brands that sponsor TV as more trustworthy than other forms of advertising.

And three quarters thought sponsorship is a more expensive form of advertising and, in turn, 91% perceived sponsoring brands to be more premium.

And while there are concerns that younger people are watching less television, the study revealed that sponsorship particularly appeals to them and has the highest cut through with two thirds of 16-34 year olds.

Encouragingly, for television, sponsorship is now perceived as an intrinsic part of the viewing experience: 79% expected this as part of the TV experience and 80% said sponsorship credits act as the cue to their programme viewing.

“As an industry we haven’t talked about sponsorship for a while and it’s clear that recent generations of agency planners and buyers have not been exposed to its true potency,” observed Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4.

“Although we’ve always known what sponsorship delivers for brands we lacked the proof,” he added. “Some of the findings have left us pleasantly surprised, especially the positive perceptions around audience acceptance and relevancy amongst young audiences.”

It is not just accepted but seen as the future of advertising by seven in ten viewers. And over half of those who recalled a sponsorship said they were more likely to buy the sponsor’s product.

Rebecca Rose, Head of Marketing at pizza chain Domino’s, reported that over a three year-period of sponsoring youth-targeted soap opera Hollyoaks, ROI had increased 35%.

“Our partnership remains fresh as new viewers find the show and by next year we'll have reached close to 90% of all 16-34s,” she added,

Sourced from Channel 4; additional content by WARC staff