UKTV plans to match record revenue with increased marketing

UKTV is looking to increase the touchpoints its brands interact with consumers with beyond the TV screen by increasing its experiential, CSR and digital output as it looks to build on a strong financial year where it achieved its highest ever share of viewers and record revenues.

UKTV Ave a Giraffe
UKTV Gold ‘Ave a giraffe’ campaign – an example of the activity the broadcaster is launching to increase engagement with its brands beyond the TV screen.

The increased level of investment in marketing comes shortly after the broadcaster posted an “all time high” full-year revenue of £262m and operating profit of £71m in its 2012 fiscal year. Income was boosted by the UKTV portfolio’s share of total viewing also reaching a record level of 9.17 per cent last month.

UKTV has committed to investing £110m in programming this year, with increased marketing budget to support it.

Simon Michaelides, UKTV marketing director, told Marketing Week successful beyond-the-screen marketing programmes from its “hero” channel Dave – such as its sponsorship of the Leicester Comedy Festival and the “Dave man chair”, which was housed inside a number of Burton retail stores as a respite area for male shoppers – have helped the broadcaster create more “ambitious” plans for the rest of its portfolio.

He added: “One of the new things you’ll see from us is our brands starting to have a presence in more aspects of people’s lives, they should live beyond the screen.

“When it comes to marketing and advertising, it’s not just about competing with other broadcasters, we are competing with every other brand for share of attention.”

One of the first examples of UKTV’s bolstered marketing output is a three-day experiential activation at Westfield Stratford in London to promote its Gold channel (pictured above).

The “Ave A Giraffe” push, created by Initials Marketing and Grand Visual, consists of a fixture in the form of bathroom inviting shoppers to sit on the “toilet” and take part in a popping bubbles game on a 103 inch plasma screen for the chance to win a prize. The activity targets 35-54 year-old-viewers with the aim of increasing engagement with the brand and making it a destination channel to watch with the whole family.

Elsewhere, UKTV is looking at how it can introduce loyalty initiatives across its channels, beginning with competitions for registered users.

Michaelides said: “There’s no reason why TV brands can’t behave like the majority of other brands – meaning there’s no reason why we can’t reward our loyal viewers.”

Like other major brands, UKTV is also in discussions with charities about a CSR initiative for Dave and is exploring merchandise options for its channels.

Upcoming channel marketing initiatives are likely to be bolstered by the success of UKTV’s brand refresh in March. The broadcaster redesigned its logo and re-introduced the UKTV network brand across communications for all channels.

Michaelides said the refresh programme “outstripped expectations”. Recent internal brand tracking analysis found 46 per cent of viewers are now aware of the network brand, up from a negligible amount before. The broadcaster is most buoyed, however, by data that suggests 10 per cent of viewers can cite all 10 channels in its portfolio.

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