Freesat kicks off ad campaign for new smart TV guide

Still from <free time> ad campaign

Still from new <free time> ad campaign

UK free-to-air satellite TV platform Freesat will be launching the advertising campaign for its new smart TV guide <free time> today (Friday 26th October), under the strapline ‘Satellite TV so good you won’t believe it’s free’.

The new ads will promote the platform’s new features which include a backwards-looking EPG for accessing programmes on catch-up services, recommendations, and enhanced on-demand and recording features.

The campaign comprises two TV commercials, supported by interactive digital advertising, press and experiential marketing across retail and social media. Freesat will also be launching a new online social community for customers.

Both commercials are introduced by new tongue-in-cheek characters, who help illustrate key benefits of <free time> and are intended to reinforce Freesat’s position as a high quality yet free alternative for satellite homes.

The TV adverts were created for Freesat by agency VCCP, and were directed by Tom Tagholm, whose credits include the celebrated “Meet The Superhumans”, Channel Four’s Paralympic Games campaign. Media planning and buying is by MPG.

Will Abbott, Marketing & Communications Director at Freesat said: “We wanted to create a distinctive campaign that would grab attention in a crowded market but also explain the benefits <free time> offers satellite viewers, in a simple and fun way.  By showcasing our new guide we wanted to challenge the assumption amongst some pay TV customers, that choosing a free TV service means compromising on a brilliant TV experience.”

Speaking to IP&TV News last month, Mr. Abbott underlined that a key creed for the new guide’s design team was a desire to help viewers spend more time enjoying TV and less time searching for something to watch.

Nick Thomas, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IP&TV News), has observed that this upgrade to Freesat reinforces the view that the connected free-to-air market in the UK (both DTT and DTH) is providing real competition to the nation’s pay-TV providers.

The analyst adds that if Freesat adds paid-for movie services such as Netflix, it will be “parking a small tank on Sky’s lawn”.

Yet Sky has a new weapon in its armoury – its own over-the-top video service ‘Now TV’ (launched earlier this year) – and placing this on the upgraded Freesat platform could prove the most effective way of meeting the new Freesat challenge, says Mr. Thomas.

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