Camelot Sponsors Saturday Night on ITV

Camelot has announced a new partnership with ITV, which will see the National Lottery sponsor a selection of the channel’s flagship Saturday night programs. The revelation comes as Camelot makes its final push to hold onto the lottery license, which is up for tender.

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This is the first time that one brand has sponsored all three of ITV’s flagship Saturday night programs. ©

First of Its Kind

Camelot’s sponsorship deal with ITV is to be wide-ranging and will see the National Lottery sponsor three of ITV’s biggest Saturday night shows. Viewers watching “The Masked Singer”, “The Voice UK” and “Ant & Dec’s Saturday night Takeaway” will see a range of quirky and entertaining idents advertising the lottery.

This is the first time that three of ITV’s Saturday night shows have been sponsored by one entity. Doing so will help to tie together the programming schedule as a full evening of entertainment. The campaign starts on December 19th and will continue for three months. Mark Trinder, Director of Commercial Sales and Partnerships at ITV was pleased to reveal the new deal. Speaking in a press release, he said:

“Saturday nights on ITV have come to define quintessential family entertainment, and as we celebrate the return of three of our most talked about shows – The Masked Singer, The Voice UK and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – we’re welcoming on board our brand new sponsor National Lottery operator, Camelot, for this innovative partnership that will put all the titans of Saturday night TV under one sponsorship umbrella.”

One of the main facets of the sponsorship deal will be the idents aired before programs and in between ad breaks. The inimitable Aardman animation studio has been brought on board to produce these in its unique, often humorous and instantly recognizable style. Aardman is perhaps best known as the force behind “Wallace & Gromit”, as well as other family favorites “Shaun the Sheep” and “Chicken Run”.

Camelot’s deal with ITV will not be limited to a series of witty idents though. The deal includes on-air sponsorship, multi-platform activation and a tailored licensing package. The sponsorship will also be visible on the ITV Hub, the channel’s on-demand service, as well as the age-gated version of The Voice UK app. Channels owned by ITV and The National Lottery are also included under the terms of the agreement.

Chief Marketing Officer at Camelot, Keith Moor, explained why the partnership between ITV and Camelot was such a good fit. The National Lottery has been entertaining the nation for more than a quarter of a century now, with Camelot at the helm since the very beginning. Each week, it raises in the region of £30 million for Good Causes. Moor added:

“These are ITV’s flagship entertainment shows with the biggest audiences – so there’s a fantastic fit between the two brands with this partnership, and it will only help people to better understand the connection between The National Lottery’s unique purpose and play.”

The partnership between Camelot and ITV Commercial has been negotiated by Vizeum, which will continue to manage it. London based communications agency Adam & Eve led the creative strategy. Responsible for production and integrating the deal was ITV Creative.

Lottery Competition Heats Up

As the UK’s top commercial television channel, sponsorship of ITV’s Saturday night schedule is no small feat. According to reports, Takeaway app Deliveroo paid in the in the region of £7 million to sponsor this year’s season of “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway”. The program, which is fronted by the same cheeky duo that host another of ITV’s world-famous hits, “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”, achieved record viewing figures of 11.2 million in 2020.

Exactly how much Camelot has paid to sponsor three of ITV’s top shows has not been disclosed, but it is rumored to be as high as £9 million. However, other sources say that it could have cost closer to £6 million, as Camelot swooped in to sponsor shows after ITV’s deal with Deliveroo fell through. Deliveroo had committed to a two-year sponsorship deal with ITV, but the coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on its business this year.

Camelot’s relationship with ITV began in 2018. That’s when it ran its first primetime Saturday night tv campaign fronted by some of the nation’s best-love personalities. The National Lottery now airs 90-second slots to show Lotto results on ITV, with host Stephen Mulhearn. Up until this point, the BBC had held the exclusive rights to air lottery results since it defeated ITV’s bid in 1994.

The sponsorship deal could hardly come at a better time for Camelot. The competition to find the next license holder of the National Lottery was launched at the end of August, and since then a number of interested parties have entered the bidding process. Camelot has managed to fend off all competition up until now, but it remains to be seen whether the operator will be awarded a fourth license.

The campaign will help to boost Camelot’s brand awareness, which has taken a bit of a beating over recent years. In 2018, MPs called out the operator when evidence came to light that contributions to its Good Causes did not rise in step with its profits. That same year, it received a fine of £1.15 million from the Gambling Commission, over failings including a malfunctioning app.

If Camelot is selected as the winner of the fourth National Lottery license competition, it will be allowed to operate the lottery for another decade, starting in 2023. The competition is run by the Gambling Commission, the regulator of the UK’s gambling industry. Camelot is expected to face stiff competition from European lottery giant Sazka and Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell group, which runs the UK Health Lottery. Indian lottery group Sugal & Damani are also thought to be participating.

In recent news, Camelot supported the government’s proposal to raise the age of play for the National Lottery from 16 to 18. Camelot CEO Nigel Railton previously came under fire from MPs when he said that it could take up to a year for signs in shops to be updated. As part of the launch of its gambling review, the government said that the changes would come into force in October 2021, with the age for online lottery products changing earlier, in April 2021.

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