dr oetker cookies

Dr Oetker and Lyle’s Golden Syrup have grabbed themselves a slice of home baking history by becoming the first sponsors of The Great British Bake Off as part of a £4m deal. This means they’ll appear either side of the ad breaks, as the show settles into its new Channel 4 home this autumn.

It makes sense. Dr Oetker is Britain’s biggest home baking brand with annual sales of £44.7m, while Lyle’s is a household staple looking to increase its prominence among the nation’s bakers.

Those whose pockets aren’t quite as deep will be able to advertise in the breaks with 30-second spots reportedly going for up to £200k a pop. Bargain!

Home baking brands could certainly use the exposure. Ingredient sales have fallen by £26.8m, as we revealed in last week’s Focus on Home Baking [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 26 March 2017]. What’s more, brands are being squeezed in the aisles as retailers make more room for own-label options.

But it looks like interest in the latest series of Bake Off could be waning before it even makes it to the air. The £4m figure is half of what Channel 4 had originally pitched opening bids at for a sole brand, although that was for a bigger package including the second series. This was after an event at which the channel pitched to more than 350 advertising executives, believed to be the biggest the channel has ever held to promote an individual show.

It’s understandable the brands are being cautious given the controversy surrounding the show – with the switch to a new channel and presenter lineup of Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Prue Leith and Noel Fielding – particularly as more than half of Brits say they won’t be tuning in when it hits the air.

So, is this proof the show’s star appeal has fallen at the first hurdle? Maybe. Either way, it could spell further troubles for the category that is pinning its hopes on Bake Off to keep consumers engaged.