How shifting away from a ‘one to many’ model helped Sky boost consideration

The broadcaster partnered with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube for its recent Sky Q campaign, in which it created bespoke ads for different groups of TV viewers.

Eight months ago, Sky launched a communications platform and campaign to position Sky TV, and in particular its subscription product Sky Q, as the go-to aggregator of content, be it Sky Originals, YouTube videos, Netflix or Disney+.

As a result, the broadcaster has seen a 20% uplift in consideration among streamers, Sky TV marketing director Sunny Bhurji revealed today (8 June) during the Festival of Marketing: Fast Forward.

According to YouGov’s brand health tracker BrandIndex, Sky’s ad awareness score has also increased by 2.6 points since the launch of the campaign in October, from 15.6 to 18.2.

The campaign, which ran under Sky’s ‘Everything you love, all in one place, easy’ platform, included a series of ads focused on the different interests and passions of individual TV viewers.

The first ad, created by the in-house Sky Creative Agency, featured a young boy called Harris who is obsessed with robots, and so uses his Sky Q remote to collect characters from Disney films Transformers and Iron Man, as well as robotics YouTube channel Boston Dynamics.

Subsequent versions included a mother and daughter walking through scenes in Netflix’s Sex Education and The Crown.

Explaining the idea behind the campaign, Bhurji said: “We needed a campaign that connected with and reflected the consumer insights that we were finding. So we went on a journey to try to find out the one thing that we could focus in on for our campaign.”

We wanted to keep a true focus on innovation and make sure that we are relentlessly pushing ourselves.

Sunny Bhurji, Sky TV

However, Bhurji and his team found there was no “silver bullet” insight to be found, and that in fact, TV means different things to different people.

“So, we started off by shifting our marketing strategy away from a ‘one to many’ model and boldly [decided] to tell individual aggregation stories,” he explained.

“We really wanted to deliver a series of stories that celebrate TV viewers’ idiocentric tastes and how Sky Q allows them to view that content and define themselves.”

Bhurji added that the campaign’s six stories were also consciously designed to represent Sky’s diverse customer base in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, and other demographics.

Sky took an in-depth look at where and how it appealed to customers in order to connect with them in an “authentic and meaningful” way. As such, the brand launched the campaign with more than 70 influencers and sponsored popular podcasts.

Usually Sky would launch a TV ad first, but for this campaign it went live with influencer marketing, outdoor and digital first, before launching on TV.

The broadcaster has also been experimenting with short-form content on digital platforms including YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok, with Bhurji claiming to have seen TikTok “working fantastically” despite his previous apprehension.

“These are all things that traditionally we haven’t really been into, but we wanted to keep a true focus on innovation and make sure we are relentlessly pushing ourselves,” he said.