Doctor Who

promoting the flagship BBC drama

Overview

Taylor Herring became Doctor Who’s first external PR agency in 2006 - winning a four way pitch staged by the BBC to handle PR for the multi award-winning hit drama series.

Brief

Key objectives: maintain and continue to build profile of the show, consolidate relationships with children’s market and mainstream media alongside targeted press initiatives to:

  • Manage the brand while promoting and position the programme in the competitive context of the television schedules.
  • Deliver key positioning pieces.
  • Establish Freema Agyeman as a star in her own right.
  • Maximise press opportunities for David Tenant in key opinionforming titles.
  • Exploit the production team – make up/costume/designers etc.
  • Amplify awareness of the show via creative stunts rooted in episode stories and show history.
  • Handle unit publicity building anticipation for the show upfront and around each episode.
  • Drive tune in.
  • Stage screenings.


The Campaign

We used our time with David Tennant to deliver a number of key opinion forming and unique stand-out pieces. These opportunities included David interviewing the Kaiser Chiefs in NME, shoots with Attitude and GQ magazine (two publications that had never previously covered Doctor Who) and an in depth interview/behind the scenes 5 page cover piece for The Times.

Freema Agyeman was fully media trained and completed over 100 interviews - front loaded with print press across the board moving from teen and children’s press to in depth interviews, tabloid interviews, fashion shoots and red carpet appearances. The coverage included shoots with Glamour, In Style, Company, Marie Claire and interviews with The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, teen press, children’s magazines and niche Sci-Fi press. Broadcast opportunities included interviews with Jo Whiley, Blue Peter, BBC Breakfast and GMTV.

Our digital division, kicked off their side of the campaign with an exclusive video interview with David Tennant on MSN, the UK’s most popular entertainment website and additional interviews with Freema Agyeman on AOL, The Sun Online, Digital Spy, Marie Claire Online and BBC News.

We also created a MySpace page for Martha Jones, with a blog re- telling each episode from Martha’s point of view. The blog has proved extremely popular, with almost 100,000 regular readers.

To create a buzz around Series Three and the new companion, we decided to stage a celebrity gala premiere where we showcased the first two episodes to two hundred cherry picked press and celebrity Doctor Who fans. We hired the Crystal Room at the Mayfair Hotel and attracted a high calibre of celebrity including Jonathan Ross, Dawn French, Jo Whiley, Celia Imrie and Catherine Tate. We achieved widespread media coverage from TV and radio coverage to print media.

We utilised members of the production team – Paul Kasey, monster extra, Edward Thomas, set designer, and Nick Briggs, voice artist - as much as possible with the aim of getting Doctor Who into different sections of the media and to take pressure off principal cast. Coverage was achieved in The Independent ‘I want that job’, Financial Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail.

We also arranged interviews for Russell T Davies, writer and executive producer of Doctor Who with Sunday Telegraph (Seven magazine), Observer (Media and Business), Broadcast and Independent on Sunday (Review).

We set up over 80+ interviews opportunities for the guest stars including: Kylie Minogue, Catherine Tate, Sarah Parish, John Simm, John Barrowman, Anne Reid, Roy Marsden, Reggie Yates, Dean Lennox Kelly, Hugh Quarshie, Miranda Raison, Ryan Carnes, Thelma Barlow, Mark Gatiss, Michelle Collins and Jessica Stevenson.


We also carried out a poll on the Doctor Who website to find the scariest monsters of all time, gaining widespread coverage in national press. We utilised Nick Briggs for a full day of broadcast interviews (BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live plus 20 regional radio stations as well as recording jingles for BBC Radio 2’s Jonathan Ross show, BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills and Virgin radio’s Christian O’Connell show).

We also created intrigue and photo opportunities with a Dalek out and about on the streets of London.

 

Results

Series 3 was widely regarded by critics as the best series yet. 99% of all coverage generated was positive and over 90% contained appointment to view.

We gained over 30 National magazine covers, set up 150 cast print interviews and 60 interviews with behind the scenes staff, facilitated 30+TV appearances and arranged over 100 radio interviews over the course of the series.

Freema Agyeman’s MySpace blog attracted over 100,000 dedicated readers each week

The launch party alone spawned over £500,000 worth of coverage

Doctor Who retained its audience share in a rapidly declining market averaging 7.5 million viewers over the 13 week run. The climax of the series garnered the best ratings for a final episode of Doctor Who so far with over 8.5 Million viewers tuning in.

Doctor Who has now been commissioned for a new series which will air in Spring 2008 and Taylor Herring has been retained to handle all the publicity for a second year running.

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The client said...

Taylor Herring provided an outstanding campaign for Doctor Who. The team’s creativity, enthusiasm and flair helped to gain the show a presence in many areas of the media which has hitherto proved impenetrable. Their strategy paid as much attention to online as offline and this garnered superb results both in terms of awareness and great viewing figures. The agency also brought a sense of humour to the mix which is a vital trait for anyone working on the Who team - the sight of a London Traffic Warden giving a Dalek a traffic ticket for one of their stunts is one which will stay with me for some time!Julie Gardner, Head Of Drama, BBC Wales

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