BBC plans star-studded Christmas campaign to launch iPlayer service

The BBC is launching a star-studded, heavyweight advertising campaign to support the consumer launch of the iPlayer catch-up service.

It is thought to be the corporation’s biggest launch activity since it led the launch of Freeview, the digital terrestrial platform, in 2002.

The campaign, which will break on Christmas Day eve­ning, will star key BBC talent including Sir David Attenborough, Jeremy Clarkson and Jo Whiley, each highlighting their own “unmissable moments” from BBC TV. The on-air trails will air across the BBC’s channels.

Head of marketing for the iPlayer, Kerry Moss, says it will use mainstream digital media, such as digital bus sides and digital escalator panels, as well as live screens in cities and shopping centres across the UK, to target a cross-section of viewers.

Moss adds that she was keen to develop a “simple” strategy based around the idea that the iPlayer allows people to catch up with BBC shows they have missed. But she also wants to recognise that a large part of its audience would not be used to watching or downloading TV over the internet.

She says the Christmas launch date, later than ex­pected, was chosen so any technical problems arising from the beta test phase could be solved. It was also an opportunity to capitalise on Christmas as a time of “un­missable” content.

A second phase of activity, including press advertising, an e-mail campaign and on­line activity with media partner sites, launches in the

New Year. The strapline, “BBC iPlayer. Making the unmissable, unmissable”, and a black, white and magenta colour scheme will appear across all media.

The media planning and buying is through MPG, Agency Republic developed the online activity, Red Bee Media produced TV trails and BBC Radio Cross Trails worked on radio executions.

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