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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here