The spot, called "set yourself free", was shown during Emmerdale on ITV tonight (2 October).
The two-minute animated film opens on an Orwellian world with an army of TVs brainwashing inhabitants to ‘conform’, ‘upgrade’ and ‘subscribe’.
The campaign will also include 60- and 40-second versions plus product adverts, which explain the features and benefits of Freeview Play. It will also be complemented by in-store, print and outdoor advertising as well as digital and social activation.
Freeview Play launches this month and combines catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television. The service is free from subscription and works with all existing broadband services.
Guy North, the managing director at Freeview, said: "Freeview Play is the biggest development in the brand's history and our new advert perfectly illustrates that with it viewers are now free to choose the TV service that best meets their needs."
Leo Burnett created the ads with visual effects by Electric Theatre Collective. Copywriters and art directors were Phillip Meyler and Darren Keff. The ads were directed by Sam Brown at Rogue, and Sam Taylor and Bjorn-Erik Aschim at The Line.