Pause and Rewind with Freeview Plus

Freeview+ had a battle on its hands taking on and challenging the leading player in the set top box market, Sky+. Having reached a point of critical mass, Freeview were seeing their churn figures rise as an ever increasing number of customers were turning to Pay TV. Knowing their best defence in retaining existing customers would be to upgrade them to a Freeview+ box, Freeview needed to communicate the fantastic functionality and quality of the new Freeview+ box.

We teamed up with MEC to come up with an innovative campaign that both raised awareness of the box whilst also, and most crucially, entertained the viewer. An excited Freeview were encouraged by our idea of doing something that had never been executed on British TV before – using editorial programme content in the commercial breaks of the very programme that viewers had just been viewing!

The key objective was to demonstrate the functionality of the +box, but the concept of functionality is relatively dull; therefore our biggest task was to inject life and humour into the idea to engage with our viewers. Our idea was to take the humorous real life situations we’ve all experienced when watching TV and create bespoke spots around this, the bespoke ads would feature live C4/E4 content that the viewer had just been watching, for the first time ever – live programming content into the break!


MEC and Freeview loved the idea, as it married great content with product functionality by dramatising what viewers were missing out on by not having a Freeview+ box. But programme content is expensive and involves a maze of conversations with various production companies who would want their pound of flesh. We needed a smart angle to bypass the cost! We identified the huge popularity of Made in Chelsea and Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals as an opportunity.


Through gaining our marketing teams buy-in as an opportunity to showcase the programmes in a humorous light, we won over the production companies Monkey and Fresh One .We partnered with The Outfit to create two bespoke spots that took content from each show to demonstrate the wide spectrum of functionality the Freeview+ box offers. To kick start the campaign we featured a live Made in Chelsea cliff-hanger moment within our bespoke copy, this meant that when viewers watching MIC thought they were entering the ad break, they were brought back to the dramatic scene showing Spencer Matthews again, and again, and once more to demonstrate pause and rewinding live TV.

Coming up with the idea was the easy bit, executing it was much harder. Coordination of production companies and marketing was key, but working closely with Clearcast was critical as this was uncharted territory. Framing the content in a TV within a couples’ front room was the key to not confusing the viewer. Talent, Freeview, MEC, The Outfit and a whole host of internal departments worked tirelessly round the clock to deliver an entertaining, humorous and effective campaign.


To find out more, watch the video above, or contact us


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