Brands hit the right note
13 December 2011
Global adspend on sponsorship will reach $48.7bn by the end of 2011, according to GroupM’s sponsorship metrics and analysis unit IEG and compare that with GroupM’s overall global adspend prediction of $506bn, that’s a fairly decent slice of budgets being placed in sponsorship.
What is it about sponsorship that is enticing more and more advertisers to allocate a chunk of their ad dollars to events? Aside from getting the brand in front of the vast number of eyeballs that events attract, what extra value does it offer an advertiser?
M&M went backstage at the MTV European Music Awards (EMAs) to chat with the four headline sponsors – Hyundai, Replay, Dell and Swatch – to find out how one event can appeal to advertisers from different sectors.
NEW KID IN TOWN
Hyundai is the number eight automaker brand in the world, according to Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands. With a 2011 brand value estimation of $6bn, the car manufacturer has experienced significant growth of 19.3% since 2010 to become the fastest-growing automotive brand.
Following the launch of its new brand strategy, ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities’ at the beginning of the year, Hyundai is on a mission to raise its profile among the younger generation under its new brand slogan. As a first-time sponsor of this year’s MTV EMAs, Hyundai was keen to use an international event to leverage its latest model and raise brand consideration. This will continue into next year with its sponsorship of the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
“We partnered with the 2011 MTV EMAs to put the new Hyundai Veloster in the spotlight, while also engaging fans of music and Hyundai in an innovative way, in line with our new brand slogan,” says Hyundai Motor Europe marketing director Mark Hall.
FIFTH TIME’S THE CHARM
Back in 2009, fashion retailer Replay was considered among MTV’s top 10 ‘coolest brands’. This year, the fashion retailer launched its 2011 Fall/Winter denim campaign, which focused on freedom with a hint of young rebellion (a theme echoed in Levi’s latest campaign).
Music has been part of Replay’s DNA since the beginning, says Fashion Box Group communication director Lorenza De Mattia. This year, the fashion brand is back on-board with the MTV EMAs for the fifth time, following a four-year hiatus. “Replay is celebrating its 30th anniversary and for this special occasion we chose to support the EMAs once again,” says De Mattia.
“The partnership really matches with our strategy and goals. Denim and music have always gone hand-in-hand, providing the perfect portrayal of youth culture and changing trends, and this is something our company really wants to celebrate through international events.”
She adds: “The EMAs have been really helpful to give international visibility to our brand and increase our popularity. In our sector, this kind of partnership is strategic to always stay in touch with our consumers and share our vision.”
ROCK WITH YOU
Technology brand Dell has a market value of $28.7bn and placed number 43 in this year’s Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands ranking. Constantly battling in the overcrowded space against computer giants Intel and HP, and building on its music discovery platform Noisey.com, Dell has refocused its efforts in recent years to put music at the core of its overall brand mission.
“Music is a big passion for us, and when we talk to our audience that’s what they are interested in,” says Dell executive director of marketing for its consumer, small and medium business unit for EMEA, Charlie Tebbs.
Now in its fourth consecutive year as a sponsor, Dell is eager to keep the brand aligned with the music and entertainment that the MTV EMAs offer. “People are using technology in a very different way these days as to how they have done historically and the music area is a key usage model,” says Tebbs. “Sponsoring the event allows us to associate our brand with music and highlight the way in which our products are a perfect fit for that model.”
The Generation Y audience is a key target for Dell and the EMAs offer a gateway to get closer to them. “The Generation Y audience consumes media in very different ways,” says Tebbs. “It’s important for us to make sure that we keep on top of knowing what they consume and their knowledge.”
TIME AFTER TIME
Jewellery and watch maker Swatch was this year recognised among the top five Swiss brands on Facebook with 693,464 fans on its page, following Toblerone, Nescafé, Lindt and Nespresso. Swatch has been the offi cial timekeeper and co-sponsor of the Red Bull X-Fighters contest for a number of years. As a long-term MTV partner, it came on-board for the first time as pan- European sponsor of the EMAs in a bid to harness the synergy between fashion and music with exclusive extension activities linking the EMAs to the three-year old Swatch MTV Playground initiative.
“The world of fashion and music is becoming increasingly synonymous,” says Swatch president Arlette-Elsa Emch. “The MTV EMAs bring to the table unrivalled access to the world’s music talent and MTV as a brand is one that resonates with creative youth globally. Combining that with Swatch’s fresh, innovative approach to fashion and design makes absolute sense.”
With 2011 marking the beginning of sponsorship’s return to full health post-Lehman brothers, bigger things are expected for 2012. Global adspend is set to reach $540.3bn, according to GroupM, sparked largely by sporting events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, the UEFA European Football Championship and the Super Bowl XLVI. Just like the athletes, the advertisers will be going for gold.
Sponsorship offers a brand the ability to get into the spotlight quickly and with much fanfare. Aligning a brand with the biggest passions of consumers – be it music or sport – is a sure fire way to get closer to a core audience. And as this year’s EMAs have shown, there really is something in it for everyone.
By Jenni Baker