Vauxhall Polo sponsorship of Series 3 of Grey's Anatomy, a perfect blend of audience and programming.
Volkswagen Polo is a well-established brand within the 'supermini' car category. This is a highly competitive category amongst the major manufacturers, and achieving standout is a challenge. Volkswagen wanted to strengthen the key Polo brand value as "a small car that can look after
itself ", as well as encourage potential customers to add the Polo to their list of cars to consider.
Volkswagen identified women as a key target for the Polo model, and research shows that 65% of women now play a part in the decision-making process when buying a car. ids concluded that marketing directly to women on LIVING would be an efficient communication tool. Women who watch LIVING drive 14% further per year on average than those who do not. Grey's Anatomy on LIVING was a good choice for Volkswagen. LIVING has a higher-than-average female profile, and Grey's Anatomy's female profile is stronger than the channel average.
ids and MediaCom proposed a sponsorship of the Emmy award-winning drama Grey's Anatomy.
The broadcast sponsorship covered Series 3 of the popular US drama series, which was new to the UK and exclusive to LIVING. The Volkswagen branding was also present on LIVING's marketing and advertising for the show, and on the Grey's Anatomy section of livingtv.co.uk. The programme was chosen due to the fact that the female characters were smart and tough, qualities the Polo also shares.
To measure the success of the activity, research with both a qualitative and quantitative methodology was undertaken by Real World Insight. A sample of 500 Women aged 25+ were
interviewed online for the quantitative element, and a series of focus groups conducted for the
qualitative research. The research aimed to measure awareness and attitudes towards Volkswagen Polo and its competitors, as well as probe the relationship between the brand and the characters in the show. Research found that respondents recognised the link between the programme and the brand.
The sponsorship had a positive effect in terms of raising top-of-mind awareness amongst Grey's Anatomy viewers and improving the Polo's brand image and interest in buying one. 17% of Grey's Anatomy viewers were able to recall that Polo was the programme's sponsor without any prompting at all. When prompted to think about cars, this grew to 30%, and total prompted recall of the sponsorship was over 60%. Viewers were also significantly more likely to answer that they were very/quite interested in buying a Polo in the future. +76% increase in 'interest to buy' Polo.