Freeview

our campaign delivers record breaking sales…

Overview

Taylor Herring won a four way pitch to lead Freeview’s consumer communications around the opening phase of the UK’s Digital Switchover plan and to drive sales of new digital recorder, Freeview Playback.

Strategy

Working closely with Freeview’s in-house team Taylor Herring developed a multi tiered campaign;

1. Consumer news generation to highlight the functionality of Freeview Playback

2. Grassroots regional activity around switch over in Copeland and a local retailer tie in

3. Creation of a book on the Future of TV – ‘Notes from the Digital Sofa’

4. News generation around switchover and December – a key sales period

Switch Over campaign

Taylor Herring embarked upon a targeted campaign for Freeview in the build up to week of switchover. Our grassroots campaign centered on the town of Whitehaven – the first town in the UK to be ‘switched off’ the analogue system. A series of briefings were set up with all the key local media to gain feedback on local press requirements and garner attitudes. Journalists in the area were drip fed with tailored press releases and kept informed of all the activity which ensured that Freeview secured mentions in 90% of all local coverage around switch-over.

a) ‘VCR Amnesty’

We created a ‘VCR Amnesty’ event and secured a partnership with the retailer Comet – where residents could trade in defunct video recorders for state of the art Freeview Playback boxes.

The team secured a media partnership with local radio station CFM to drive awareness. Coverage was amplified via targeted placement on local news websites and community forums and the placement of ten advance news stories in key publications from The Whitehaven News through to The News & Star. Online sites such as Copeland Borough Council’s official site and the North West Evening Mail website also carried the stories.

The amnesty event attracted over 300 local residents and 100 Freeview Playback boxes were given away free to the first 100 attendees; with the remainder receiving a discount on any purchases. Taylor Herring ensured that local press turned out en masse to record the event.

Coverage gained included a feature in The Sunday Times and a four page feature in Marketing Magazine as well as pick up in every local newspaper. In addition, over twenty online media outlets covered the story including Digital Spy, Digital TV Cumbria, The Times Online and Brand Republic reaching an estimated 10 Million people + via the web alone.

The CFM campaign reached 79,700 listeners, nearly 80% of the CFM weekly audience, who each heard the campaign a minimum of 3.9 times

The campaign proved so successful that both Comet and Currys replicated our amnesty mechanic later in the year.

b) ‘Notes from the Digital Sofa’

The second targeted strand of our switch over campaign was specifically devised to reinforce Freeview as a thought leader on the future of television. Taylor Herring created and edited a Freeview sponsored downloadable book featuring short essays from leading players within the TV industry – all commenting on the ‘future of television and the impact of switchover.

We secured the following figures from the TV industry (all of whom gave their time at no cost); Sir Michael Grade (Executive Chairman of ITV), Jane Lighting (CEO ofFive), Kevin Bakhurst (Controller of BBC News 24) and James Purnell MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport)

The essay collection was published in PDF format on the Freeview website and was downloaded 500 times in the first week of publication.

The essays were offered to leading publications as exclusives – all credited top Freeview.

Coverage secured in national print, trade and online press included the Media Guardian, mediaguardian.co.uk, Digital Spy and Broadcast - all key opinion leading media targets for the TV industry.

Freeview Playback Launch

a) Freeview Playback’s “Most Paused”

The second part of our brief was to communicate the core selling point of the product – the ability to pause and rewind live TV.

We devised a simple national poll to find the ‘most paused moments’
in TV History.

Our results provided the mainstream press with a great hook for covering the story with a range of picture friendly nominees such as Sharon Stone’s infamous crossing legs scene in Basic Instinct to the
1966 World Cup.

TV pundit Richard Arnold was secured to talk up our story on the day of release and completed eighteen radio interviews (including Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and LBC) reaching a potential audience of 28 Million people.

Coverage was also secured in the Daily Telegraph, Metro, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, The Daily Sport and The London Paper . 31 online sites ran with the story ranging from Digital Spy to the daily record and BRMB.

The campaign’s total audience exceeded 30 million.

b) TV’s ‘Defining Moments’

The final strand of our switchover strategy was geared towards capitalising on the huge opportunity for consumer news around switchover. Whilst we realised that Digital UK would be handling the bulk of press enquiries on the day, we were aware that mainstream press would find a technical story a little dry.

Taylor Herring devised a national survey focusing on the most memorable TV moments that have shaped popular culture - from Big Brother to the Big Breakfast, Panorama to Blue Peter. The story gave the media a simple and entertaining opportunity to look back at the moments that defined the analogue era

We supported the national print and online sell in with a radio day to allow us to expand on our proposition. We also engaged the services of the former newsreader Angela Rippon as our broadcast spokeswoman who completed 27 radio interviews in total. Highlights included XFM, Virgin Radio and numerous BBC stations throughout the day. The campaign’s total reach exceeded 6.75 Million listeners on the day of switchover.

Print overage was secured in the Sun, Daily Star, Daily Record and over 10 major news outlets including Sky News, Channel 4 News, Reuters, and PA - all print news stories were also secured online.

c) Snooze O’Clock

The brief was completed via a final creative news story that was specifically designed to hit the media around the key Christmas sales period.

Taking the product’s functionality as our starting point, we developed a seasonal news story based around the time when Brits are most likely to nod off in front of the TV on Christmas Day. The story would clearly point to the time of day when families should set their playback devices to record.

We secured media lifestyle expert Jenni Trent Hughes as our spokesperson for a media day (radio and TV), in which she brought the research to life with expert commentary on the highs and lows of the Xmas period.

The story was tremendously successful – coverage ran in The Sun, The Daily Star, Metro, Closer and London Lite. Jenni Trent Hughes completed 13 radio interviews across the national and regional stations including Kerrang!, BBC Merseyside and BBC Bristol reaching a potential audience of 11 Million +.

Online coverage of the Snooze O’Clock news story included: Men’s Health, Closer, The Sun Online, The Star online, The Scotsman, Ananova and BBC reaching a potential web audience of 13 Million people. To cap it all off, our survey was also mentioned on Channel Four’s Friday Night Project.

The campaign total audience exceeded 41 million.

Results

British consumers enjoyed a digital Christmas, with more television sets, set-top boxes and personal video recorders that can receive the Freeview digital terrestrial TV service sold over the last three months of 2007 than ever before.

In its best ever performance, more than 3.8m devices that can receive Freeview were sold in the last quarter of 2007.

For the year as a whole 9.7m TVs, set top boxes and personal video recorders were sold that can receive Freeview's more than 40 free to air channels, up 64% on the previous year and also a new record.