‘A no-brainer’: Why Peroni became the first sponsor of Sky Atlantic in VOD

Peroni’s creative will feel as highly produced as the drama it will bookend

Peroni has ambitions to secure its upmarket credentials by becoming the first sponsor of Sky Atlantic’s video on demand (VOD) content via Now, the streaming TV service. Execs at the beer brand’s media agency Wavemaker explain why it made the bold push into streaming sponsorship.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro picked up the partnership from February 7 to sponsor the fully-digital TV channel, a newly-emerging medium for marketers. In doing so, its idents will queue up quality drama such as House of the Dragon and Gangs of London.

Callum O'Brien, business director, content lead at Wavemaker, tells The Drum: “In recent years PNA has had to evolve the media strategy to unlock its next stage of growth by communicating to the whole beer-drinking category and embracing broader targeting. TV has been central to adding scale to the brand’s communication.”

It has positioned itself as a “super premium beer” these last few years and as a result sees the rub-off from being around similarly quality content. The emergence of VOD sponsorships has made these opportunities available once more (as linear viewership has declined).

“We have therefore adopted a ‘premium at scale’ approach to TV planning. This involves prioritizing access to the most acclaimed and highest production value content. We are blessed to be living through a golden age of TV, and drama boxsets are a central tenant of that.” The partnership was a “no-brainer.”

He acknowledged that VOD and streaming is taking a greater share of time spent watching TV each year. Viewers are also being more choosey and are actively jumping between channels and platforms that cater to their tastes.

“Sky Atlantic has so much of that highly engaging, immersive content that audiences specifically seek out, the vast majority of its viewing is on VOD. In 2021, 79% of viewing of Sky Atlantic content came through VOD. That means that if we want to build an association with that content, we need to explore a VOD route to activation.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Hirschler, planning director, Wavemaker, admits the younger viewers are more likely to stream in such a manner, versus linear viewing. “We are seeing this with the adoption of multiple SVOD services, from Disney+ to Netflix, being skewed to younger audiences. Now is a great solution for this audience because they can add the services they want when they want. That means that in our activity, we will reach younger audiences than a traditional Sky linear and VOD solution that can only reach those who have longer-term contracts and set-top boxes installed.”

He references research from TV advertising body Thinkbox that said that prestige drama helps escape reality – something that is also reflected in the Peroni idents, featuring heightened shots of the beautiful Italian coast. The creative will feel as highly produced as the drama it will bookend. It may also inspire beer-lovers to choose Peroni as their drama-viewing tipple.

In the wider business, Hirschler says that Wavemaker is currently looking at ways to scale up TV reach while maintaining the premium quality too. Although buying addressable TV inventory is one way, VOD sponsorship is a surefire solution to ensure consistent reach in the long term.

Recently, Indeed secured its first addressable TV sponsorship with E4. It explained why it made the leap here.

The space is becoming more sophisticated. Sky recently launched a product allowing sponsorship idents to be served in an addressable manner.