The relative performance of TV sponsorship versus television spot advertising

Erik L. Olson (Marketing Institute, Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Hans Mathias Thjømøe (Marketing Institute, Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 9 November 2012



The purpose of this paper is to compare the relative performance of TV sponsorships with the industry standard 30‐second TV spot advertising on achieving common communication goals.


The two media are tested with an experiment using realistic stimuli and target market representative samples and employing six brands as both TV sponsors and TV advertisers.


Ten seconds of TV sponsoring works almost equally as well as 30‐second spots across all measures and brands. While the outright performance differs by type of brand (i.e. high fit versus lower fit, known versus unknown), the relative performance between media does not vary.

Research limitations/implications

The stimuli only gave subjects a brief exposure to each medium. The six stimuli brands, four effect measures, and the Norwegian sample may also not be representative for all types of TV sponsoring/advertising contexts.

Practical implications

Marketing managers can use the results to better allocate their communication spending between TV spot advertising and TV sponsorships, by determining which medium offers better value in achieving communication goals.


To the authors' knowledge, the comparison is the most realistic and controlled experiment in this area, with high levels of internal and external validity.



Olson, E. and Mathias Thjømøe, H. (2012), "The relative performance of TV sponsorship versus television spot advertising", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 46 No. 11/12, pp. 1726-1742.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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