BT ad starring Michael Owen to launch during Coronation Street

BT is set to launch a new advertising campaign starring Michael Owen and Shay Given during Coronation Street tonight, promoting its new Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 subscription packages.

Created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the ad also stars football players Wes Brown and Gareth Bale and forms part of a £30m marketing push set aside to promote BT's new sports content, available from today on its BT Vision platform.

Creative in the spot will show BT ad regular 'Adam', played by Kris Marshal, walk from his flat, down the lift and into the carpark to the increasing noise of a football crowd.

His journey takes him into a football tunnel, where he is joined by the players, and culminates with Adam running out on to the pitch.

The ad campaign, which has been allocated marketing spend not budgeted for this year by the broadcaster, will also run in the press, online, radio and outdoor.  

It will be supported by nationwide below-the-line activity, including mail shots, handled by Ogilvy.

The bulk of the media planning and buying is being handled by Maxus, with Posterscope responsible for outdoor activity.

Matthew Dearden, marketing director BT Retail, said: "We are proud and excited to bring our customers the best in UK sports viewing in time for the new football season, including Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and ESPN.

"By using footballers such as Michael Owen in this campaign we are tapping into the passion that fans feel for their sport, and showcasing the quality of the BT Vision sport offering."

The new campaign comes as BT heralds a new era of competition in pay-TV by offering Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 for just £16.99 a month, dramatically undercutting Sky's longstanding £26 basic sports package.

It follows a ruling by regulator Ofcom in March which forced Sky to cut the price it charged other broadcasters to show its premium sports channels.

The regulator stipulated that the satellite broadcaster would have to sell Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £10.63 a month each to rival broadcasters or a combined price of £17.14.

Meanwhile, BSkyB has announced plans to raise its current subscription packages from September. Its Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 package will increasing to £29 per month, and its more comprehensive dual sports package will rise from £35 to £39. 

BSkyB has reacted to criticism surrounding its latest price hikes, and being undercut by BT on its Sky Sports 1 and 2 packages, by claiming "customers are smart enough to look behind the headlines and compare quality and value".