The Punchbowl Trends Blog

Marketing insights from the leading celebrations site for moms

How to Make Custom Sponsorship Work For Your Brand

March 04, 2013 · in Content Marketing

custom advertising partnerA study by eMarketer suggests that digital ad spending will increase more than 15% in 2013. One powerful form of digital advertising when marketing to moms is custom sponsorship, which allows brands to educate consumers and build brand awareness in creative ways that rival large-scale marketing campaigns more than typical advertising.

Custom sponsorship digs deeper than traditional advertising in that the content and means of your advertising drive more engagement between mom and your brand, and often increases traffic to your website or social media page. There are a few key benefits to this type of advertising and some tips to get your brand started with custom sponsorship. 


Custom sponsorships allow for custom content, co-branded features, and unique integrations that provide brands with the opportunity to SHOW customers why their product matters for them, rather than just tell them. In many cases, a custom sponsorship is a one-of-a-kind opportunity created specifically for your brand. Who can compete with that?

Brand Awareness & Engagement

Custom sponsorships with the right publisher allow brands the opportunity to reach their audience at exactly the right time. Combine that audience with the right message, unique content, and high impact placement and you’ve got yourself an awesome program that will reach customers in a meaningful way when it matters most. While traditional display advertising strives to generate more traffic and ultimately sales, custom sponsorship leads to a greater brand awareness and provides powerful engagement opportunities.


Most publishers understand that brands can be more impactful if they combine traditional display advertising with a custom program. The beauty of digital is that anything is possible. Some publishers may be more flexible than others, but usually they’ll have cool ideas that may integrate with social, mobile or some other initiative.

How To Get Started 

Custom sponsorships, however, require more effort than traditional display advertising. But the upside is huge: customer engagement, brand awareness, higher conversion rates. Before you throw yourself head first into a potential custom sponsorship program, here are a few things to consider:

1. Identify a goal – You know you want more than traditional banner advertising, but why? Is your brand launching a cool, new product? Do you want to drive social media engagement for the brand? Know exactly what you want from the campaign before digging into the other pieces.

2. Define your target audience – Central to your goal should be your target audience. Most likely your brand or product has a few key consumer profiles. Focus on one for the custom sponsorship so you’re able to provide the most targeted campaign possible.

3. Look for publishers – Having a clearly defined audience will narrow down the potential publishers for your sponsorship. If you target moms with young children, focus on the sites they read, the products they use, and the mode in which they access these things, particularly in how this relates to your product.

4. Assess your assets – Once you have your publisher in mind, you’ll need to inform the partner about what the program can include (i.e. videos, customized content, branded product offerings, or something else). Be creative, it might be something that has yet to be done before.

Example: Solo's branded invitations on 

The consumer goods company Solo wanted to target party planners hosting key holidays to promote their iconic Solo cups and seasonal product lines. With this audience in mind, Solo reached out to Punchbowl, a leading site for online invitations, about opportunities to target party hosts for a variety of events including Summer and Winter holidays.


what is brand advertising

The free, Solo-branded invitations as displayed on 

Punchbowl worked with Solo to implement a custom sponsorship in which the brand was the exclusive sponsor of five invitation categories on the site. The custom sponsorship included the creation of branded invitation designs that featured brand imagery, 100% SOV for advertising within the sponsored categories, branded party ideas articles and more. As a result of the custom sponsorship, anyone planning an event in one of the sponsored categories saw the featured invitations by Solo. That’s the key to success here. Solo got their brand/product in front of the appropriate audience at the exact moment they were planning a party.

This type of advertising can have huge pay offs but executing successfully is difficult. The key to success is being specific about your goal and your audience. Armed with these two details and a sharp marketing brain, your brand can generate truly great custom advertising.

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