Underwriting Rick Steves' Europe on Public Television
Rick Steves' Europe is seeking a corporate partner to underwrite part of the cost of producing future travel episodes for public television. In return for its financial assistance, that corporation will be thanked with a 15-second promotional spot at the start and finish of each show. This credit (produced by the underwriter) becomes a legal part of the program and must be aired each time the program is broadcast. Underwriting Rick Steves' Europe will allow a corporation to connect with millions of Americans and to be associated with a show that has been the most popular travel series in the USA for a decade. While most underwriters expect one or two airings, Rick Steves Europe' is famous as a perennial, repeatedly showing in virtually every US market year after year. Public television reaches upscale consumers, community leaders and business decision-makers.
What is Underwriting?
In the commercial world of television, underwriting is called advertising. In the world of public television, we seek underwriting funded by corporations and the business community, government agencies, unions, associations, and foundations. In return for this support, we run a 15-second sponsor message and thank you at the start and finish of each program. This is built into the program and must be aired each time the show is broadcast.
Why do Organizations Underwrite or Sponsor Public Television Programs?
Image — Build a Brand
Public TV builds brand identification and strengthens your corporate image. Sponsors benefit from the "halo effect" of being associated with public television and its mission to make a meaningful contribution to our community. Nearly 85 percent of consumers believe such higher-purpose, cause-related marketing creates a positive image for sponsors. Nearly 75 percent of public television viewers believe that public television sponsors are committed to quality and excellence. And almost two-thirds of public television viewers are more likely to purchase the product or service of a public television underwriter. And your support will have helped make possible the continuation of a tradition of quality, noncommercial television.
(Source: Cone/Roper Worldwide; PBS Image Study)
Greater Impact — Credible and Memorable
Sponsor messages have greater impact in the low-clutter environment found only on public television. Also, prohibition against "hard sell" spots, and trustworthiness of public television combine to make underwriting message extremely credible and memorable. Public television dignified approach to on-air support is appreciated and respected by its viewers.
Greater Value — Build a Relationship
Rick Steves' Europe offers unique marketing opportunities for corporations and business partners that the commercial broadcasters or cable network cannot offer. A corporation underwriting Rick Steves' Europe will receive written thanks and credits in Rick Steves guidebooks and on his website. It will also have special access to programming Rick Steves produces for its own use (such as in-flight movies for airline companies). Opportunities to build on this partnership will vary depending on the nature of the business that supports Rick Steves' Europe.
For Details on Becoming a Rick Steves' Europe Underwriter contact:
Guidelines for On-Air Sponsor Messages
Credits are intended as a way of thanking and identifying underwriters. In general, credits on public television maintain a noncommercial sound, in keeping with the noncommercial nature of public broadcasting.
Most existing image or business brand spots are ideally suited for public television's unique low -clutter, highly credible environment. Those sponsor messages that do not meet FCC standards for public television may require minor changes.
Sponsor messages may:
Be 15 seconds in length
Identify and depict sponsor's products or services
Show a logo
Use a well-established slogan or corporate positioning statement
Show a telephone number
Show a web site address
Use music or sound effects identifying the company, people, and other voice-overs (Rights to music must be cleared first by client or agency)
Make an association between sponsor and program
Sponsor messages may not:
Use comparative or superlative language
Offer price, discount or financing information (including "free")
Use calls to action which direct the viewer to call, visit, try, or compare
Use inducement to buy statements that direct the viewer to purchase the product (e.g. free trial period, 2 for 1, etc.)
A Typical Public Television Audience:
51.7% of total adult viewers are between 18-49 years of age
48.3% of total adult viewers are 50+
58.1% of viewers are married
50.7% of audience is male; 49.3% is female
13.0% of viewers are of Spanish/Hispanic origin
63.1% of audience use the Internet
38.1% of total adult viewers have one or more college degrees
67.7% of audience votes
46.3% have a household income of $50,000+
27.2% have a household income of $75,000+
13.2% have a household income of $100,000+
74.9% of viewing households have an ATM card, 48.9% have an IRA/Keogh account, 72.8% are homeowners, 30.7% have auto loans, and 27.9% have liquid assets in excess of $100,000
And a strong majority of Public Television viewers:
Feel that companies that fund public television have a commitment to quality and excellence.
Believe underwriters are usually industry leaders.
Would choose to buy a product from a company that supports public television, all other things being equal.
(Sources: Sep-Oct 2002 The Media Audit Program and Report, International Demographics, Inc. and 1998 PBS Image Study)