ITV targets ABC1s with upmarket generic ads

ITV is hoping to banish its downmarket image with the second stage of its generic advertising campaign, breaking next week.

ITV is hoping to banish its downmarket image with the second stage

of its generic advertising campaign, breaking next week.

The new work is designed to underline the appeal of core ITV programmes

to ABC1 adults, but retains the endline that was used in the first

tranche of advertising last year: ’ITV, Britain’s most popular


David Liddiment, the managing director of Granada UK Broadcasting and

the ITV Marketing Committee representative responsible for co-ordinating

the campaign, said: ’The new work is a significant step forward from the

last campaign. We’re focusing on our largest audience - ABC1s - and the

effectiveness of our schedules in reaching this audience. Because we’ve

been around for so long, it’s a residual problem that we have this

downmarket image. It’s easy to forget that we have an upmarket appeal.

We’re saying to our upmarket viewers: ’It’s OK to watch ITV. This is a

channel for you.’’

The campaign, created by the art director, Kevin Thomas, and the

copywriter, Tony Barry, at M&C Saatchi, comprises nine separate

30-second ads, each featuring different TV viewing experiences. The ads

were directed by Kevin Thomas through Blink Productions.

Each ad publicises a different ITV show and the individual executions

can be tailored to publicise specific programmes with the addition of

different straplines and voiceovers. The programmes singled out for

promotion include A Touch of Frost, Formula One, Cadfael and London’s


The television commercials will run through to the end of the year and

will be supported by a tactical press campaign. The push forms part of

ITV’s offensive against the imminent launch of Channel 5.

’The idea is clearly to get in ahead of the launch of Channel 5,’

Liddiment admitted. ’We’re also planning some scheduling initiatives.

However, we are holding fire on announcing what they will be until we

are sure that Channel 5 will actually launch when it says it will.’

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