YouView readies Autumn ads to promote simplicity of service

YouView is readying a £10m push designed to promote the simplicity of its on-demand service as it looks to acquire customers in the lucrative autumn TV season as many of the UK’s biggest programmes return to air.

The “catch up with your feet up” multi-media marketing campaign will run from 7 September and will “hero” pairs of feet in front of a TV screen and YouView set-top box. The TV ad will send the feet back in time to busy moments, such as when they were in the supermarket or down the pub, to demonstrate that viewers do not have to miss any programmes with its seven-day catch up feature.

The ad campaign will also play heavily on social media, with the launch of a new YouView Facebook pay, blogger outreach and how-to videos starring actress Alison Steadman, some of which will focus on the forthcoming update to its mobile app which will add search functionality to the existing remote record function.

The campaign will feature across its broadcaster shareholders’ assets – which includes ITV, Channel 4, Channel 4 and the newspaper and magazine properties also owned by Channel 5 owner Northern & Shell – plus print, radio and digital. It was created by Albion, while OMD handled media planning and buying.

Freeview customers remain YouView’s prime target audience for its acquisition marketing activity. Former YouView chairman Lord Alan Sugar – who dramatically left the consortium in March after a reported bust-up with Channel 5 chief Richard Desmond – said at YouView’s launch last year it was hoped the service would soon “replace” the Freeview box.

Steve Conway, YouView head of marketing and PR, told Marketing Week the campaign will serve to emphasise the service’s “points of difference” against competitors such as Freeview, Freesat, Virgin Media and Sky.

He added: “We will emphasise is the fact that YouView brings catch-up altogether in one place on your TV set and brings all the content together seamlessly through our search function. Freeview customers with broadband are our sweet spot for targeting and I think Talk Talk’s [recent announcement that it has acquired 500,000 YouView customers since launch] demonstrate the fact that Freeview customers are seeing YouView as [superior] to their Freeview service and paid services as well. We think everyone should have access to catch-up, live TV and also the chance to add on pay as you go services.”

YouView’s has not announced any official customer numbers since May, when it revealed it had attracted almost 400,000 households in the eight months since its launch.

More than half (52 per cent) of YouView customers are using its video on demand (VOD) service, generating 2.7 million VOD plays each week, Conway says.

He adds: “We are on track and very pleased with the progress we have made so far this year in terms of sales and for marketing generating awareness and understanding.”

The price of YouView’s service is currently largely dictated by broadband stakeholders BT and TalkTalk, although consumers can buy set-top boxes separately from retailers for about £230. Conway says as sales gather pace, YouView hopes this price will drop.

In July rival Sky announced the launch of a £10 set-top box that offers catch-up TV, Sky Sports and Sky Movies to any television set as it looks to cater for customers that do not want to sign up to lengthy or expensive subscriptions.

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