UKTV's multiple approach pays dividends

Challenge: After the success of Dave and its new entertainment channels, UKTV turned its attention to transforming the factual TV sector. Rebranding any product in a declining sector is a challenge, but this project was even more challenging, with limited budgets in the midst of a global recession.

Blighty: launched via Ted Baker
Blighty: launched via Ted Baker

Mediator, Red Bee Media, Rocket and IDS
Hannah Wren, Red Bee Media

While traditional above-the-line media was important to drive awareness, we knew that bringing new people into the factual EPG was no easy task. UKTV developed an innovative multiple-hit approach, amplifying traditional media with high engagement partnerships and PR. In addition to launching Blighty and Eden on-air and via a small poster campaign, the brands were launched in shop windows, on butter lids, as bookmarks and as luggage labels. Working alongside Mediator, UKTV convinced potential partners to see themselves as media owners in their own way, with unique media spaces to be exploited for mutual reward.

Blighty, a channel dedicated to programming about Britain, was launched in the shop window of British clothing store Ted Baker and on the lids of the British butter brand Country Life. Eden, the channel built around natural history programming and people's desire to explore the world, was promoted on Lonely Planet bookmarks, cover-mounted on key LP titles and Eden-branded travel wallets were given away with Antler luggage. Not only did this reinforce the brands' positionings, but it extended the reach of the new brands and brought them to life in the outside world in relevant ways.

UKTV and Red Bee Media opened the doors to partnership activity and these partnerships helped achieve big budget effectiveness on a small budget spend - key in a recession. For a partnership outlay of just over £200K, we estimate we generated exposure with an equivalent media value of about £2.5m. The rebrands won new viewers for the factual pay-TV category, improved channel performance and attracted new sponsorships and advertisers.

Hannah Wren, Senior strategic planner, Red Bee Media

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