Sponsorship vs. advertising placement. What is more effective? I once heard David Verklin, former CEO of Carat USA speak and something he said really stuck with me. “Sponsorship shows respect to a viewer by not taking advantage of something that they involuntarily give up – their time and attention.” Wow. How true is it that?! For as much energy and thought that we pour into creating marketing, we actually expect people to consume our message without the temptation of the fast-forward or page flip. As marketers, what we are actually asking of them is to give something that is most precious to them – their time and attention – to look at what we have created on behalf of our clients. In exchange for what? Creatively speaking, this should be on the minds of every marketer at all times.
At PureMatter, we’re faced with questions from our clients like “Should we sponsor this event? Is it really worth the money just to have our name on a sign or up on the screen in PowerPoint as they eat their salads?” My answer to this is, “I don’t know.” There are so many factors that go into deciding to sponsor or advertise to your audience that to boil it to simple terms would be ineffective. However, the notion that a sponsorship has this added element of respect to it that you could never convey in an ad, regardless of how creative or compelling the message way, is very interesting to think about. Let me ask you: If you’re watching X Factor on your couch on a Wednesday night and an ad for Coke comes up, how will you feel? Will you FF through the spot in order to get to the rest of the show on your DVR? Does this experience change when you see the judges drinking out of the Coke cups at the judging table? That real estate occupies a much more subtle position for them of course; but when Simon makes his “I’m not trying to be rude, but…” comments while holding the Coke cup, I would argue that the influence on your decision to buy or consume is much more effective than a marketing spot.
With that said… doesn’t a sparkling ice cold Diet Coke sound really, really refreshing right about now?