BT ads help it ride the storm

Telecoms provider's brand perception rises despite a £1.3m fine and a profit warning.

BT: quality and recommend scores up
BT: quality and recommend scores up

BT's ads are among the best known TV ads in the UK, with the current campaign showcasing BT's offerings - both services and products.

While BT's ads have featured Dragons' Den entrepreneur Peter Jones to promote its business services, BT's consumer products and services have starred different celebrities.

Its latest ad in the current campaign for consumer products features Kris Marshall and Esther Hall, and first aired on 26 October.

As with the other ads in the campaign, the latest continues the story of the relationship between the two stars, with the new ad being aimed at raising awareness of the brand's new cheaper calls from landlines to mobile phones (the package is known as BT Mobile Saver).

The timing of this ad is impeccable. Given the current financial uncertainty faced globally by consumers, BT will be hoping that, by addressing these issues, it will increase its customer base.

So has the brand seen any uplift of its scores on BrandIndex?

Since the new ad first aired, the brand's quality and recommend scores have increased by the greatest amount.

The quality score increased to peak at 17% on 3 November, while the recommend score also peaked on the same day at 15%.

Despite these increases, the brand's index score has remained fairly stable at 8%. Furthermore, buzz for the brand has declined slightly over time. So what other factors have impacted on the BT brand's scores?

At the end of October, BT was in the news for less admirable reasons. A profit warning and being forced to pay the MoD £1.3m in compensation after the National Audit Office found BT had fixed figures to help it avoid fines for not answering calls quickly enough were both detrimental to the brand's scores.

Given that the brand has achieved increases in several measures despite this bad publicity suggests the ad has helped to restrict the potential damage this coverage could have caused.

BT will be hoping its current campaign continues to benefit the brand's perception going fowards. With difficult times ahead, it will be interesting to see if the company's message is welcomed in the longer term by existing and new customers alike.

Methodology: YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday to form its BrandIndex, a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors. It is measured on a seven-point profile:
1 Buzz
2 General impression
3 Quality
4 Value
5 Satisfaction
6 Recommend
7 Corporate reputation.
In addition, we supply an index score.

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