Dunelm matchmakes with First Dates in new partnership

Channel 4 has announced a year-long partnership with Dunelm that will see the homeware retailer sponsor the broadcaster’s award-winning dating series ‘First Dates’, ‘First Dates Hotel’ and ‘First Dates Abroad’.

The partnership marks the first time that Dunelm has sponsored Channel 4 content.

Channel 4 said: ‘As one of the most popular programmes on TV among 16-34-year-old viewers, this major new partnership will see sponsorship run across all episodes of the show in 2020, which will return to screens on Thursday (February 13) at 10pm.

‘The sponsorship idents, from creative agency Mullen Lowe, invite viewers to imagine a world where ‘home products enjoy that joyously awkward, fun and nerve-racking experience of dating. Like the show itself, which believes there is someone out there for everyone, the creative idents show how Dunelm has products that suit every person’s style. This is shown by tapping into relatable dating moments as inspiration, resulting in witty, charming and amusing films delivered by everything from kettles to cushions.’

Dunelm has also acquired licensing rights for the programme as part of the deal, which will allow brand activation in-store, and the use of First Dates assets within sponsorship idents, online and social video content on the broadcaster’s social pages.

‘First Dates’ was last year’s second biggest 10pm show for Channel 4, attracting an average audience of 1.4 million per episode, whilst ‘First Dates Hotel’ averaged 1.7 million viewers – both outperforming Channel 4’s slot average. Last year ‘First Dates’ reached over 22 million viewers and over 41% of 16-34-year-old women viewers.

Rupinder Downie, brand partnerships leader at Channel 4, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Dunelm for the first time in this capacity on this expansive sponsorship package for one of our most-loved programmes. The partnership is a great fit and will see Dunelm benefit from both direct sponsorship association with ‘First Dates’ on Channel 4 and social content that will extend the reach of the campaign across our platforms.”

Leonie Foster, chief customer & digital officer at Dunelm, said: “It’s really exciting to launch this partnership: our first with Channel 4. The warmth, optimism and inclusivity of ‘First Dates’ felt like a great match with our brand. Our aim at Dunelm is to help everyone create a home they love – and through ‘First Dates’, we will be able to introduce a new audience to our ranges in a fun and accessible way.”

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