TV has remained the core means of finding out what the latest must have toy on the shelves is – but adverts are only one aspect of what the medium has up its sleeve. David Murphy, Kids Controller at ITV Breakfast, tells ToyNews why TV sponsorship is becoming more important

Kids Media Special: Power of the Small Screen

What does TV as a medium offer toy companies?

TV continues to be a fantastic advertising medium and recent reports by both Ofcom and TV marketing body Thinkbox support this fact. These reports show that TV viewing in the UK is extremely solid, especially for commercial TV channels.

Children’s TV viewing does not differ from this, with average viewing remaining steady at 2.5 hours per day over a number of years.

Although children now have extremely busy media lives, this is not drastically affecting the level of TV they are viewing. They are merely incorporating other and newer media into their regular daily lives, both around and during their TV viewing.

Therefore, TV continues to offer toy companies a highly consistent and effective method of reaching their consumers and achieving sales.

What opportunities does TV have for toy companies alongside standard adverts?

Spot advertising remains a core opportunity for toy companies on commercial children’s channels.

However, over recent years sponsorship has also become important.

It allows advertisers to associate themselves with particular strands of programming and individual shows, and to target fans of these shows over a sustained period of time.

In addition, we have to appreciate how children consume their media. With 1.5 hours per day on average spent online, the child’s TV viewing experience has to be enhanced and extended by offering online catch up, websites, games, interactivity and increasingly TV show related apps.

These innovations also then offer new advertising opportunities to toy companies, allowing them to reach TV consumers outside the broadcast window.

Can you give me any examples of toy companies you have worked with in the past and the campaigns you worked with them on?

At CITV, we work with the vast majority of those toy companies that regularly advertise on TV, from the largest to the smallest.

This year we have also signed CITV Sponsorships with Spin Master, LEGO, MV Sports (pictured), Hornby, Smyths Toys Stores and KSG Sequin Art, as well as Kellogg’s and Littlewoods outside the toy company arena.

What can TV offer that other media like radio or online can’t?

TV can offer the greatest shop window to advertisers allowing them to reach their consumers with the maximum visual and verbal impact.

As well as being used to create awareness and knowledge amongst consumers, great TV advertising can grab consumer attention, create talking points and drive interaction with and sales for the advertiser.

Can TV work effectively together with other media on toy campaigns?

Rather than competing with other media, TV can and should work with other media at every possible opportunity to create effective and fully integrated toy campaigns. TV is excellent at stimulating consumer awareness and driving interest, allowing other media to then be utilised to provide further knowledge and interaction.

A strong campaign that affords a good mix of media should then allow toy companies to reach children at multiple points throughout their busy lives.

In a nutshell, why should toy companies advertise on TV?

TV advertising can provide that ‘big bang’ of consumer awareness that leads to sales.

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