BT has taken inspiration from fly-on-the-wall documentary makers by
featuring a real family in a sequence of commercials that look set to be
compared with the TV series, Sylvania Waters.
The corporation has footed the bill to take 29 members of the Welch
family from Kent on an all-expenses-paid holiday to Cancun in Mexico and
has edited their experiences into a mini ’soap opera’ of 20
The opening episode will go on air next Monday as part of BT’s efforts
to extend its Friends and Family scheme and is the result of a combined
effort by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Drum PHD, the AMV group’s
broadcast sponsorship specialist.
The series was made to mark the extension of the numbers that can be
registered under the scheme from five to ten and to launch a monthly
draw with holidays as prizes.
Craig Thomson, the marketing manager for Friends and Family , said:
’This is one of the most exciting commercials ever made for BT. There
are no gimmicks and no celebrities.’
The Abbott Mead writer, Alfredo Marcantonio, and his art director, Peter
Gausis, along with a film crew led by the director, David Pritchard,
accompanied the family throughout their trip.
The Welches, who were selected after interviews with about 100 families
from BT’s customer database, were allowed to approve all the material
before it went on air.
’If the films were put together, the result would almost be a travel
programme,’ Monica Middleton, the agency account director on the
business, said. ’The idea is to show that there is a strong emotional
element attached to Friends and Family, as well as a financial one.’
Media buying on the campaign is being handled by the Negotiation Centre.