By Barry Flynn, Contributing Editor
Advertisers are prepared to pay up to 40% more for TV sponsorship campaigns which are tightly integrated with social media platforms, according to Swedenâ€™s largest commercial channel, TV4.
Speaking at the Future TV Advertising Forum in London, Carola Lundell, head of new business at the TV4 Group, quoted statistics showing that more than 55% of Swedish TV viewers used a second screen while watching TV â€“ most often a smartphone. â€œIf we dig a little deeper and look more specifically at what these people are doing on the second screen, we find that the majority is actually hanging out on social networks,â€ she said.
Lundell argued that it was â€œcrucialâ€ for broadcasters like TV4 to be present in these digital conversations.
â€œIt means that we need to work with story-telling on digital platforms, and that we need to engage and potentially also reward our users,â€ she said. â€œThis is obviously very interesting for us, both from our perspective, and also from a commercial perspective, in terms of what we can offer our advertisers on these platforms.â€
Lundell said that TV4â€™s experiments with extending linear TV formats into the social media sphere had shown that â€œyou need to pay more than for ordinary sponsorship â€“ and advertisers are prepared to do that. So, yes, weâ€™re making money.â€
Lundell referred to the 40% price uplift in relation to Finnish confectioner Fazerâ€™s sponsorship of the Strictly Come Dancing format shown by TV4â€™s sister company in Finland, MTV, which was intended to highlight the launch of its new chocolate brand.
This was given its own dedicated hashtag for the show, with viewers being promised that if they reached a certain volume of tweets using the brand hashtag, the â€˜guestâ€™ judge would then be revealed exclusively on Twitter.
MTV controlled the Fazer Twitter account, and used both this and its own Twitter feed to engage with viewers during the show. It also produced exclusive behind-the-scenes content for Fazer to use on Instagram.
Lundell noted that although there were only 500,000 Twitter users in Finland, the campaign had reached over 434,000 of them.
In a similar MTV sponsorship deal involving the Celebrity Big Brother format, Lundell cited statistics which showed that audience members who both watched the show and engaged with it on social media demonstrated significantly higher rates of sponsorship recognition, sponsorship appreciation and interest in the sponsorâ€™s product than those who had just simply watched it. In the latter case, the interest rating had been boosted from 21% to 36%.
The 40% premium sponsors were prepared to pay for such benefits had also been demonstrated on another show, said Lundell, although she conceded it was â€œhard to say whether that’s a normal increase, because this is not something that we’ve been doing for five or six years, itâ€™s fairly new. So I would argue that we haven’t found the ultimate billing model yet.â€