How to score a hit with Pride

The BBC has pitched itself at the forefront of the digital revolution, with new channels including youth station BBC3 and arts channel BBC4. But, despite Freeview’s triumph, some zero ratings have led many to question if these channels have been a success

Media strategy

When you are a small brand competing on the big stage, you’ve got to know how to pick your fights.

From a strategic standpoint, the Rugby World Cup offered us the chance to outsmart rather than outspend our competitors.

We just had to be very single minded and creative in our approach.

With the tournament taking place Down Under, the majority of fans would be watching the live broadcast – it therefore made sense to elect TV as the lead medium.

Brewing companies have a habit of attaching themselves to sport. What they often fail to do is tap into the huge surge of emotion that fans feel at the most important point – during the match.

Our insight was to occupy the key points of passion during the match, behave like a fan and share in their emotions – a challenge for conventional television.

In a media first, we employed the latest technology to move our brand to the heart of the game.

“Graphic overlay” allowed us to add score lines and commentary to the end frame, elevating the ads to “live status”.

The effect was incredible. Our adverts suddenly became completely immediate and relevant.

We were now the fans’ friend, live at the game and sharing in Londoners sporting passion. To focus spend and reflect Fuller’s unwavering belief in England’s success, we invested solely in England games. In addition, ads were positioned in the best last in break slot – pre-kick off and half time.

The effect was electrifying – a stirring Henry V soliloquy asking the English to “rise up” seconds before the ball was fired into the air.

The results were superb. Seven perfectly placed spots delivered 43% of ABC1 men in London.

Graphic overlay technology positioned us as the fan’s beer and generated huge talkability.

We showed the final to 2,000 England fans at the Odeon Leicester Square and the whole place spontaneously cheered when they saw the ad.

From a sales perspective on trade, sales were up 50% on the previous weekend and, by the culmination of the campaign, the highest ever sales and brand share had been achieved.

In all, a mixture of creative planning and the use of new technology allowed a small budget to place London Pride at the heart of one of England’s biggest sporting achievements.

This strategy was among those highly placed at the Channel 4 TV planning awards, organised in association with Media Week.

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