Big Brother's Golden Ticket

How we boosted ratings for the hit reality show.

Overview

Taylor Herring were hired by Channel 4 to launch Big Brother, series 7 with a ‘Golden Ticket’ campaign.

Working alongside Channel 4 press and marketing and their commercial partner KitKat - we handled promotion of the programme’s most ambitious stunt to date.

For the first time in Big Brother history, a member of the public would be chosen at random for the unique chance to become a housemate in the Big Brother house …if they were lucky enough to find a special golden ticket hidden inside a chocolate bar.

Running up to the launch of Big Brother 7, via a huge logistical operation, special Kit Kat bars were distributed amongst up to 40,000 retail outlets nationwide ranging from the major Supermarkets to local convenience stores, newsagents and confectionary kiosks in train stations.

Stringent security measures were put in place to protect the operation of competition.
 
Objectives

The key objective of the campaign was to take noise around the Golden Ticket to fever pitch and to create talk-ability about the competition across the UK.

Taylor Herring’s campaign also set out to sustain interest in the Golden Ticket promotion from the initial excitement of the first news stories right through to the final - televised live on Channel 4 – one a month later in which the new housemate would be chosen at random from the Golden Ticket claimants.
 
Tactics

Taylor Herring set up a dedicated ‘golden ticket press office’ to manage all media interest in the imitative – managing hundreds of press calls from all corners of the media.

The agency devised compelling picture capital, which included the Golden Tickets being flown via helicopter amid the tightest of security as well on-site photography at the Kit Kat factory in York. This brought the story to life, giving it an engaging visual aspect.

Daily updates were circulated and sold-in to key media on how many people had verified their golden tickets, highlighting a range of news stories including information on how much tickets were selling on for on Ebay as well as placement of extraordinary real-life stories from Golden Ticket claimants.

Taylor Herring attended screening days set up for Golden Ticket claimants and each Golden Ticket winner was interviewed to uncover news angles for national and regional media.

The day before the final in which the new housemate was chosen by random, Taylor Herring serviced national and regional media with exclusive pictures and a news release including biographies of all 35 golden ticket holders who had successfully passed the rigorous screening procedure.

Results

Over the course of the month, the campaign garnered wall-to-wall coverage with news stories and features appearing in every national newspaper from the Financial Times to the News of the World, and a host of national magazines including heat, Zoo and OK! There were a total of over 120 pieces of national print coverage, sustained throughout the entire length of the campaign between May and June.

There were over 100 separate pieces of broadcast coverage, with highlights include BBC Radio One Newsbeat, BBC Radio Two, IRN and Radio 5 Live.

In addition, the campaign also generated over 400 pieces of regional print press.

Big Brother’s average audience was 100,000 up on last year at 4.6m, with a 22% share of the audience.