With increasing apathy to advertising by audience, especially the youth, and the need for orgnisations to look for way of positioning their products and services to attract new and retain old customers, organisations are turning to reality TV shows sponsorship. Reality TV shows have become one of the most popular shows on television this days.
Reality TV programmes is define as programme that film real people as they live out events in their lives, contrived or otherwise, as they occur. A sample of 240 respondents was randomly selected and test instrument administered on them, only 235 pieces of questionnaire were returned and analysed, putting the response rate at 97.9%. The findings showed that brand sponsorship of reality shows does not have any influence on brand patronage. 56.5% of respondents indicated
that the effect of brand sponsorship of reality shows on their patronage of the product is neither positive nor negative; rather, it is neutral or inconsequential. This finding showed that the sponsorship of reality TV shows is not solely responsible for the increased patronage of the sponsored brand.
However, brand sponsorship of reality TV programmes contributes positively to the image of the brand, which might ultimately lead to increase patronage.
Various brand categories ranging from Beverages, Pasta, eCommerce and Travels have become frontiers in this new space of advertising.
The researcher concludes that sponsorship of reality shows by major brands and organizations might influence people’s perception of the brand positively, but does not necessarily make them patronize the brand. In view of the research findings, it was recommended that organizations should not use sponsorship of reality shows as a strategy for the purpose of increasing patronage, but use it if their aim is to boost their brand image.
In Nigeria, reality TV has produced some of our biggest celebrities. Music star Iyanya was the winner of the 2008 MTN Project Fame reality show and he is currently one of the hottest and most sought-after musicians in Nigeria. Omawumi Megbele became famous when she came second in the first edition of West African Idol. O.C Ukeje is unarguably the biggest Nigerian actor to have emerged from a reality TV show. Ukeje won Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) a platform that launched his acting career. Uti Nwachukwu, first participated at the celebrated Next Movie Star before entering the Big Brother Africa house. Today, Uti has since become a celebrity as he co-hosts the popular African Magic programme, Jara while becoming a host for various events.
Reality TV will be here for a long time. We have seen it create new generation of celebrities and we will see more celebrities come out of the shows. In reality, the controversies, drama and scandals are what draw the new generation of TV watchers to such shows.