PBS reveals launch campaign

PBS UK, the British offshoot of US public service broadcaster PBS due to launch next week, is readying a marketing campaign to help build its reputation as a quality broadcaster amongst UK audiences.

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The channel, which will broadcast a range of non-fiction programming from 1 November, is partnering with the Daily Telegraph and The Week as part of the marketing push in a bid to reach its target “slightly older, up-market and predominantly male” demographic.

PBS reaches 124 million viewers in the US each month and a further 20 million people online, the company claims.

Richard Kingsbury, PBS UK general manager, says it is hoped the channel will sit alongside other specialist factual channels like the History Channel, Discovery and National Geographic in terms of audience type and reach, but adds that it will take time to build its reputation.

“We have a unique marketing challenge. PBS has a 40-year heritage of programming and strong values in the US, but we are a blank sheet of paper in the UK; how do you get from 0 to 60 in the quickest possible time?” Kingsbury says.

A press and digital campaign, which includes a four-page cover wrap of the Telegraph’s Saturday Review magazine and spots in other major national newspapers and online, will feature a series of ads that play on the UK’s current perception of US factual broadcasting, with the strapline: “PBS. Where television matters”.

Kingsbury adds: “The US doesn’t have a great reputation for making great factual content – the BBC has that – but we will show that America makes non-fiction content that is far more thoughtful and has more quality than people currently think.”

PBS UK is also looking for a small group of 20 brands to advertise with the channel, whose ad propositions match the channel’s niche audience. Those brands are likely to come from the automotive, technology and financial services industries, Kingsbury says.

Media planning and buying for the launch campaign was handled by the7stars and communications agency Hypernaked developed the creative.

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