How insight was used to put the sparkle back into Gold

Gold, UKTV’s channel featuring classic programmes such as Only Fools and Horses and The Royle Family, had seen live-viewing figures decline for four years, and wanted to turn that around. So the marketing team looked to the research department to understand why.


The team found that Gold had been something people watched when they couldn’t find anything on the BBC or other terrestrial channels, but with new ways of viewing they were instead turning to their set-top box or looking at video-on-demand. People also associated Gold with only showing a limited number of programmes.

“People were pleasantly surprised when we showed them the breadth of great shows available, including the fact we make [some] ourselves. We knew if we could maintain a regular, frequent presence with the audience and show them the variety, we would be on to a winner,” explains head of entertainment and marketing Gareth Barker.

The teams decided to buy media against an audience that watched the channel frequently, working in partnership with the Daily Mail and radio station Heart, which over-indexed with Gold’s target audience. It also used its own channels to communicate the breadth of programmes on the channel. Weekly ads ran showing the variety of shows available.

“We found that you can sum up classic shows with just one word,” says Barker. “If you put ‘Gavlar’ up for Gavin and Stacey, that does the whole job of evoking what the show is; ‘Bovvered’ for The Catherine Tate Show is another example. So we hone in on what we know the audience really loves about these classic shows.”

As a result, share of viewership is up 4% versus a year ago. “Hopefully, we have turned that four-year decline into a pattern of sustainable growth,” adds Barker.

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