client login

Yeah… but how will Aviva’s Downton Abbey sponsorship work on Radio?

We know you’re here for the £50 iTunes vouchers, but first let’s talk Downton Abbey and, more specifically, the sponsorship idents produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for Aviva and ITV.

Bear with us, we’ll get to the iTunes thing…

Recently, while watching Downton Abbey, we were intrigued by the Aviva sponsorship idents for ITV Drama Premiers. We wondered, ‘yeah…but how will it work on radio?’ The 10 second ITV Drama Premiers idents effectively top and tail the commercial breaks for Aviva. Using a narrative that develops as the programme progresses, they tell the story of an Aviva Income Protection policy-holder who has been involved in an accident or sustained an injury, and viewers see this person going through various stages of their recovery.

It would be simple enough to replicate the execution from a copy and creative point of view, but to put together an execution for radio that uses this kind of story arc and narrative, means thinking more deeply about how radio works.

Radio is the classic “dip in and out” medium, ‘appointment to listen’ is a term used a lot more in programming meetings than by listeners. Radio sponsor tags are also, by and large, very restricted in word count and usually can’t be blatant sales messages. This means that to effectively execute this narrative approach, we need to look at the airtime and flexibility of the concept.

Topping and tailing an ad break, where a commercial for a particular client is the first and last in the break, is a good starting point for this approach. What this enables us to do, is create a scenario within the first commercial that provokes the listener into engagement by leaving them without a resolution, and then resolve the situation in the commercial at the end of the break. Have a listen to the break we’ve mocked up below to see how this would work on air…

The audio above demonstrates the top and tail approach. The first commercial in the break conveys the feeling of anticipation, leaving open the question of the test results in order to retain the audiences interest, and the final commercial in the break works as a resolution to the question. Having the first commercial unbranded adds to the enigmatic nature of the approach, and should again work to retain the audiences interest.

This treatment could be extended further. We could position a series of ads throughout a particular show, or produce scenarios that work through different day parts. All would replicate the approach Aviva Abbott Mead Vickers and have taken with the ITV sponsorship idents.

Throughout the “Yeah but…” series so far, we’ve focused on a creative approach that could be difficult to transfer to radio. This one however is a little different. The potential in using radio innovatively for a cross media campaign isn’t just found in the creative approach, it’s also sometimes down to an exploration of how the medium itself can be used creatively. Innovative use of airtime can deliver a message in a creative way too.

Now, the £50 iTunes vouchers. Have a listen through the audio again, and tell us this… what does Paul have to continue with?

Answers on an email by Thursday the 1st of December to please.

back to top ↑