ITV and Sky News launch campaigns to promote HD

LONDON - ITV1 and BSkyB will both launch marketing campaigns to promote ITV1 HD and Sky News HD respectively, as competition in the high-definition TV market builds up.

Tomorrow (9 April), ITV will launch a campaign called 'The brighter side just got brighter" across its family of channels to promote the new ITV1 HD channel.

The ad, produced by ITV's in-house team ITV Creative, stars TV presenters Ant and Dec discussing what high-definition will mean, as they travel from a modest studio, through increasingly HD scenes. The ad will be shown in cinemas later in the year.

ITV's accompanying outdoor, press and online ad, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty and planned by WPP's Mindshare, includes a behind-the-scenes shot of a range of ITV talent, including comedian Harry Hill and actress Katherine Kelly.

David Pemsel, group marketing director of ITV, said, "Beyond the functional benefits, high definition heightens the emotional benefit of the ITV1 channel brand itself. Each execution of the campaign aims to be a rich experience in itself. This is an opportunity to drive brand reputation, as well as viewing."

ITV is also launching new idents called 'Lanterns', 'Sunflowers', 'Snakes and Ladders' and 'Dodgems' which were directed by Pliex at Blink, and include an updated ITV1 logo.

Sky News is to launch it its first major marketing campaign, which will highlight its coverage of the upcoming election in high definition this Saturday (10 April).

The seven figure outdoor and on-air campaign will run from Saturday until beyond the 6 May General Election.

Initially, the Sky News activity will focus on the upcoming Sky News Debate between the parliamentary party leaders, which will be shown in high definition. The debate is a prelude to the launch of Sky News HD, which a Sky spokesman said was imminent.

The Sky News campaign, designed by Engine group creative agency WCRS, features close-ups of the three main UK party leaders under the tagline "Nothing gets you closer", and aims to highlight the strength of Sky News' editorial output and the quality of the on-screen image.

The media, which has been planned and bought by Sky's media agency WPP's MediaCom, includes planned airtime on terrestrial networks alongside ads on Sky's channels and radio, online and outdoor.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: "Sky News' first major marketing campaign underlines that, whether on mobile, online, radio, or now in high definition, Sky News gets you closer to breaking news."