DIGITAL TV LAUNCH: M&C Saatchi unleashes pounds 60m blitz for Sky

Suicidal TV sets preparing to hurl themselves off clifftops and running into the sea are the unlikely choices to launch Sky TV’s 140 digital channels to British audiences.

Suicidal TV sets preparing to hurl themselves off clifftops and

running into the sea are the unlikely choices to launch Sky TV’s 140

digital channels to British audiences.



The spoof mass nervous breakdown occurs in a 90-second commercial

breaking nationally this Thursday, opening what is expected to be a

bitter battle for viewers between Rupert Murdoch’s Sky and the rival

30-channel ONdigital.



In the M&C Saatchi film, TV sets thrash around their rooms, lash

themselves with their own wires and explode in frustration at not being

allowed to be more versatile.



The advertising contains no overt sales pitch - although its long-term

objective is to boost digital dish sales - but aims to usher in the

digital revolution with a dramatic illustration of its potential under

the theme: ’It’s what your TV’s been crying out for.’



Its appearance, kicking off a pounds 60 million above-the-line

initiative over the coming year, coincides with national press and

poster advertising as well as an internet campaign by New Media

Targeting.



The blockbuster commercial follows an unbranded print campaign which

appeared late last month, as well as a series of five-second TV ’teaser’

spots, which set the scene for the start of this week’s offensive.



Using TV sets to send their own messages is part of Sky’s strategy of

presenting a complex subject in such a way that consumers will not be

overwhelmed and intimidated by it. The advertising aims not only to

convert existing Sky subscribers to digital but, more importantly, to

win over the 14 million UK homes not yet receiving pay TV.



’The main target has got to be Middle England,’ Moray MacLennan, M&C

Saatchi’s joint chief executive, said. ’Sky suffers from a blue-collar

image whereas the quality of its offering gives it definite ABC1

appeal.’



The art director, Malcolm Poynton, developed the ’frustrated TVs’ idea

with James Lowther, the agency’s joint creative director. Kevin Thomas

directed the commercial through Blink. Media planning and buying is

through Universal McCann.



Live Issue, page 15.



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).