First direct sponsors new Channel 4 strand “The Essentials on 4”

first direct on c4

Channel 4 has announced that UK bank group first direct will sponsor a brand-new programme strand called “The Essentials on 4”.

The sponsorship will run from 1 July 2022 until early next year and is the first partnership between Channel 4 and first direct. 

The sponsorship deal will also consist of an All 4 Collection Lounge which includes classic favourites such as The Vampire Diaries and Smallville.

Integrated marketing agency Wunderman Thompson is responsible for the sponsorship idents which include the strap line: “The Essentials on 4 given the first direct treatment”.

Essentials and first direct

The punchy black-and-white text and snappy sound effects used in the idents give viewers an entertainingly straightforward introduction to programmes by summarising plots in just a few lines.

As part of the partnership, first direct will also benefit from All 4 homepage takeovers over the course of the campaign, as well as an amplify ident which helps the sponsorship stand out with a dynamic frame.

First direct’s sponsorship of “The Essentials on 4” was brokered by 4Sales and Omnicom’s media group PHD UK.

Rupinder Downie, Brand Partnerships Leader at Channel 4, said: “The Essentials strand targets a highly receptive audience through our appealing content. We are extremely excited to partner with first direct across this all-new strand.”

CEO of first direct, Chris Pitt, said: “Disrupting the norm is what we’ve been doing as a bank since 1989 – so working with our TV equivalent feels like the perfect fit for our first ever TV sponsorship. 

“This partnership brings together two major Leeds-based brands, and is a great step forward in celebrating this vibrant, thriving city.”

Lauren Port, Client Partner at PHD UK, said: “We’re always looking for great opportunities to put first direct in the spotlight. 

“Linking their no-nonsense banking brand to Channel 4’s new essentials programme strand not only felt like the right partnership but also a great opportunity for them to be back on TV for the first time in years.”

Tom Drew, Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson, said: “We gave The Essentials on 4 the first direct treatment with each show getting its own faff-free typographical synopsis turning each ident into a little guessing game.’