Bake Off boost for brands

With the Great British Bake Off back on our screens in its new guise, the buzz amongst its many fans has been tangible. And as the show for the first time appears on a commercial channel, brands have been given the opportunity to advertise alongside one of the country’s most beloved programmes. Kantar Media UK & Ireland CEO, Richard Poustie, examines the opportunities for brands to get a slice of this potentially lucrative pie.

Getting a slice of the pie

In the past, paying top dollar to sponsor the nation’s biggest TV shows could be the (expensive) cornerstone of a brand’s advertising strategy. However, the way we consume and interact with TV content has changed dramatically in recent years, demanding a more sophisticated, holistic approach to advertising and opening the door to brands that lack the financial clout to invest in high value TV sponsorship.

In fact, shows that have a breadth of popularity like the Great British Bake Off offer an opportunity for all brands to tap into the excitement. With consumer interest sky high, avid fans are talking about the show on social media and even those brands not able to afford the lofty price tag that goes along with broadcast sponsorship, have a chance to be a part of the conversation.

Smart brands who combine real-time trends – such as those gathered from social platforms – with deeper insights into audience attitudes and behaviours will be able to identify, understand and accurately target the right audiences.

Knowing, for example – as our TGI data shows – that a Great British Bake Off fan is likely to enjoy reading magazines and be a mobile internet user, instantly helps brands understand how best to engage. And knowing that those same consumers are less likely than the average shopper to buy products from companies who sponsor TV programmes and more likely to shop at Ocado or M&S could help immensely with tailoring messages to target them.

Beyond the broadcast window

The TV set still accounts for the majority of viewing, but consumption increasingly extends to other screens, companion devices and digital platforms, driven in particular by the rise of online players and streaming services. Brands with broadcast campaigns should be using these platforms to complement their activity, and those without can take advantage of the opportunity to target specific audiences.

Social media now plays a huge role in how consumers interact with broadcast content. According to our Kantar Social TV Ratings (KSTR) tool, the final episode of last season’s Bake Off generated 234,600 tweets in the UK during the broadcast window alone, creating 60.8m total impressions on Twitter. And that conversation continued well beyond the broadcast itself, with over 431,000 related tweets measured in the week of the finale, driving almost a staggering 100m impressions

By being nimble to respond to events as they play out on the screen – from surprise exits from the tent through to contestants burning, or even dropping, their bake – brands can extend engagement with fans beyond initial broadcasts, tapping into into the social conversations that are already taking place and targeting more socially engaged viewers.

Of course, social conversations are just one element in a vast web of connected channels that we now use to engage with the programmes we watch. Brands need to ensure they’re factoring in social and earned media alongside the traditional broadcast opportunity and taking a truly holistic approach to campaigns.

Above all else, avoid getting burned

The Great British Bake Off‘s transition to a commercial channel for the first time, has resistance resonating amongst some fans. For brands engaging in commercial partnerships, or any marketing strategies, alongside the show, having a degree of sensitivity towards viewers’ reactions and opinions is paramount.

Brands need to be aware and alert to the shifts in consumer sentiment and, rather than risk creating ad strategies in a marketing vacuum, instead use all of the tools and data resources at their disposal to test creative in advance, putting the methods in place to understand consumer responses in real-time.

Finally, as is the case with any new campaign, brands need to maximise the use of the full arsenal of measurement tools. By measuring the impact of, and response to ads as the new series of the Great British Bake Off progresses, smart brands will refine their strategies, adapting creative and accurately targeting ads to ensure they’re achieving only the best results.

*This article is adapted from a thought piece published in The Drum. you can read the full piece here.

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