Client: De Beers
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Buyer: Nick Ashley
Agency: CIA Medianetwork
Buyer: Richard Parsons
Client: Vauxhall Vectra
Agency: Lowe Howard-Spink
Buyer: Mike Hope-Milne
Programme: Inspector Morse
TV station: ITV Central
Date: 27 November, 20.00
Break transmission time: 20.50
Barb: 32 ABC1 housewife TVRs (live)
Maybe you couldn’t quite understand the twists of the plot, but it
didn’t require much genius to work out that this one-off Morse was a
sound bet for stonking audience figures. More than 13.5 million people
tuned in to see the show live, giving ITV a 55 per cent share of the
Ever since the death of the series was announced, the occasional
specials have earned a reputation as appointments to view. Six
advertisers lined up in the second ad break to take advantage: De Beers,
Microsoft, Polygram, Ariel, Fairy Liquid and Vauxhall Vectra.
The programme fitted neatly with the launch of a De Beers ad campaign,
designed to stimulate diamond sales in the run-up to Christmas. Because
the campaign is a short-term call to action, quick cover build among the
target adult audience with a male bias made Morse a perfect choice.
Microsoft’s TV buyer, Richard Parsons, says that the special offered a
compatible brand proposition by virtue of the upscale nature of its
audience (Microsoft, too, was targeting ABC1s).
For Vectra, Morse meant good demographics and a perfect environment with
the added attraction of drawing in light viewers.