The sponsor of Channel 4's Big Brother, BT Cellnet, is to create an
aggressive marketing campaign around its pounds 4 million broadcast
deal, which will include reactive sponsorship break bumpers and a
through-the-line campaign targeting its core audience of 16- to
BT Cellnet will be an official provider of mobile phone products and
services for the show, which will include released text updates and a
live audio feed. Genie will be the WAP provider for the Big Brother
website and the sponsorship creative will be used across in-store
activity, direct marketing and online advertising.
The core message of the sponsorship will be that BT, together with
Genie, helps to keep people in the know with Big Brother gossip.
Playing with the theme of a fly-on-the-wall programme, BT Cellnet's
agencies Drum PHD, Tullo Marshall Warren and Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO
came up with the idea of using flies as actual figures in the
sponsorship credits. Drum PHD, the sponsorship division of New PHD, and
Channel 4 developed the initial idea into two flies, named Horse and
Fruit, spying on the household's goings-on.
The two characters will be shown receiving information through their
mobile phones on what is happening outside the Big Brother house, as
they gossip from their privileged position as insiders. As the show
progresses over ten weeks the scripts for Horse and Fly will reflect
what is going on inside the house.
One of the creative executions, which will be shown early on in Big
Brother, will feature the flies inspecting their unfamiliar surroundings
at the house. Horse says to Fruit: "Right. Think I'll have a look about
the place, find the bins, have a quick rummage through the rubbish,
check out the loo - you know, get settled in."
BT Cellnet's sponsorship credits, which will be featured in 5,000 break
bumpers on Channel 4 and E4, were directed by Rob Coolen, written by Tom
Tagholm, both at Channel 4. The art director is the freelancer Will
The executive producer was Lisa Green from Channel 4.
Tracy Hirth, the head of brand and marketing communications at BT
Cellnet, said: "The beauty of this idea is that we have to keep it fresh
and the scripts will be continually updated. It's not something that
we've ever done before. We're tailoring the sponsorship and making it
work so that it's much more relevant to the environment in which it's
She added: "I think that it will be the most integrated sponsorship that
we have seen because we are enhancing and extending the Big Brother
Laurence Munday, the managing director at Drum PHD, commented: "Through
BT Cellnet's state-of-the-art technology we are able to extend
audiences' enjoyment of Big Brother to make it a 24/7 experience that
can be enjoyed whenever and wherever you are."