This article looks at the opportunity for brands presented by the annual music competition, Eurovision.

  • Generally, the music landscape is fragmented making it more difficult for brands to achieve
    widespread reach through sponsorships, whereas engagement with Eurovision is more like the
    opportunity provided by international sporting events.
  • As well as drawing in huge numbers, Eurovision is a rare event when live viewing is a key part of
    the experience.
  • Brands should think social first and focus on playful content aligned with the spirit of the show.
  • It is also important to consider that what is appealing about Eurovision as a consumer is its
    unpredictability and how it reacts to culture, which can be both fun and playful but also has the
    potential to be political and controversial.

Why it matters

Eurovision provides brands with an opportunity to strategically resonate with a huge and diverse audience across Europe – an opportunity that hasn’t yet been fully utilised. It is a rare moment in the music calendar that truly transcends markets and encourages sharing of the experience in real time.


Eurovision’s scale and multi-market appeal should not be underestimated. It provides an opportunity for
brands to tackle the fragmented music landscape, with a ‘one-stop shop’ akin to those found in the sports landscape.

While Eurovision is both playful and entertaining, it can also be controversial so brands must understand
their role in the platform before committing.

To succeed in the space brands should:
– Look at Eurovision as a global platform versus just an individual market opportunity;
– Be social first and playful with content;
– Lean into the consumer journey;
– Tap into current and legacy talent to support activity.

Music is the biggest universal consumer passion point and provides brands with a huge opportunity to
strategically resonate with a multitude of audiences. The true scale of music fans is difficult to quantify but taking the music subscription service market alone you’re looking at a global audience of over 616 million users (massive). Then when looking at festival attendees this is over 37 million and for concerts 30 million….in the UK alone. With fans who attend live music events sharing their experiences at a rate of 92% and the hype around global tours such Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour being far reaching, it’s safe to say the influence of these events goes beyond their venues, making them an alluring tool for brand engagement.

However, time and again major brands are opting to invest in sports sponsorships instead. Of course,
established properties such as UEFA Champions League, Ryder Cup or F1 have huge global audiences, in-built media, local-level access and relevancy across markets, as well as having tried and tested activation playbooks with proven track records.

The challenge in music is that, for the most part, there isn’t the same fix. The European landscape is fragmented and can be challenging to navigate without the right stewardship (and even then, it can require a deep level of effort). The European festival landscape has a few major players, but these represent partial offerings in individual territories versus a one-stop shop for multi-market, consistent activation. The nuance of popular music also varies market by market. While a German football fan looks much like an English football fan (they are passionate about the same game), with music, the binding factor is a love of music, but it’s often very different music. This means ambassador or tour deals need to be with the highest-level artists to ensure multi-market cut-through (which of course comes at a high cost). Tours also aren’t as frequent or predictable as sports fixtures and rights can be inconsistent due to venue prohibitions and, for the most part, a lack of broadcast agreements.
These factors often result in brands struggling to find truly global or European platforms for local market
exploitation, which can result in brands having a fragmented multi-market music approach or being sworn off the space altogether.

Eurovision is somewhat of a unicorn in the music landscape. A single property that resonates across European markets and beyond. It provides brands the opportunity to buy into the ‘disco magic’ centrally and activate credibly across local markets, using a platform that consumers genuinely care about. However, it’s a property that hasn’t yet been fully utilised by brands.

The scale of Eurovision cannot be underestimated, with a viewership of 181 million it has over 60 million more viewers than the Super Bowl Halftime show. When considering the NFL were looking for a reported $50m in rights fees for the sponsorship, which Apple Music took up in 2023, that’s pretty impressive. Interestingly there has been huge growth in both YouTube and TikTok streams of the event in recent years, up to 7.6m and 4.8m respectively in 2023. The growth in digital viewership is particularly positive for potential brand partners when considering varying degrees of brand limitations with the public service broadcasters who show Eurovision.

As well as drawing in huge numbers, Eurovision provides a rare moment in the music calendar where viewing live is inherent to the experience, and where the event invites ’watch parties’ akin to those you see for major sports finals. However, the audience make up for Eurovision is altogether more diverse, attracting youth, family, and LGBTQ+ audiences in their droves. These social-first audiences are hungry for content, expect brands to be playful, and are open to sharing their experiences.

Eurovision’s ability to resonate with LGBTQ+ audiences is of huge benefit for brands, especially when
considering the purchasing power of this group is over $3.7 trillion globally and the fact that 72% of
consumers, regardless of orientation or background, make purchasing decisions based on a brand’s inclusivity and diversity. Much more than a camp and playful event, Eurovision should be considered a major platform for engaging valuable audiences with huge purchasing power and cultural sway.

It would be remiss not to mention that, as with any sponsorship or partnership of this scale, there will be risk factors for brands. In a politically turbulent period, with a platform that millions of global fans feel passionate about and, just as has been seen in sporting environments, there can and has been controversy with fan groups and in the press – most recently, the ‘boycott’ in light of Israel’s inclusion in the competition for 2024. When entering a scaled partnership of this nature, it is important to acknowledge that there may be passionate social sentiment that puts pressure on brands to comment on highly sensitive subjects. It’s important that brands analyse the risk involved in doing so, stay true to their brand ethos and understand their role in the ecosystem. Ultimately, what is appealing about Eurovision as a consumer is its unpredictability and how it reacts to culture, which can be both fun and playful but also has the potential to be political and controversial. This comes with challenges and it’s a brave brand that enters that space.

Taking a look at Eurovision’s current and more recent partners, there are some obvious categories taking up these sponsorship spots. Travel brands such as easyJet and Royal Caribbean have a natural role in the fan experience – from the clear link with travel to and from the host nation to fun-filled entertainment for consumers. Morrocanoil, the presenting partner, leans heavily on behind-the-scenes storytelling and glamourous on-stage looks told through the lens of social to engage with Eurovision’s social-first audience. Baileys, a playful and ‘the world’s most loved spirit brand’ showcases unique cocktail recipes and encourages communal enjoyment and watching parties. TikTok, Eurovision’s Entertainment partner, focuses on being ‘the go-to destination for all things Eurovision’, hosting streams, behind-the-scenes content and performances in the app. A strategy for driving users and generating content on their platform which is implemented across their broad partnership portfolio.

We are yet to see the full breadth and scale of the official (and not so official) partner activity in the coming weeks, but looking back on 2023’s Eurovision, some key principles for brands to ‘get it right’ this year can be seen.

Be social first and playful with content

In the UK, nearly 85% of the population is on social media, so while there is such a huge opportunity to reach a big audience, it can be harder to cut through. Being creative, unique and playful is imperative to reaching the Eurovision audience. For example, last year Tesco’s campaign #Cheese4Cheese saw the brand launch a singing competition on TikTok spearheaded by The Fizz – the group spun off from Bucks Fizz, which won Eurovision in 1981. This tongue-in-cheek campaign saw winners receive giant cheese wheels as the top prize.

Lean into the consumer journey

Whether that be for those fans travelling to the event, following their countries’ representatives, or planning their own watching events through brand-relevant moments, brands need to be able to cater for the entire fan journey and consider where they can have a meaningful role in the fan experience.

Tap into current and legacy talent to support activity

More than 80% of Gen Z and Millennials say an influencer would have at least some influence over their
purchasing or viewing habits. Last year, John Lewis’ Eurovision Disco leaned into nostalgic music talent and focussed on the communal watching aspect of the event by having Sophie Ellis Bexter host an iteration of her Kitchen Disco in their Liverpool branch. also enlisted Eurovision icon Conchita Wurst, who won the contest in 2014, to front their campaign focussed on ensuring they were the go-to for booking a stay in the host city.

This year and in future iterations of Eurovision I would love to see brands take these learnings and fully
recognise the global to local market power of Eurovision, treating it as a major platform that can unify their approach and deliver a genuine multi-market music activation.

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