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Dear partner,

“Summer holiday is the time when parents realise teachers are grossly underpaid.”

As temperatures finally calm down this week (40.3°C?!?) there’s a good chance that you and your team will soon be demob happy, especially if you have kids finishing their school year. But before you slip out for a well earned summer break, how about I bring you a little festive Christmas cheer!

Actually… World Cup cheer is more accurate because, as you probably know by now, the tournament is coinciding beautifully with Christmas for the first time in history. As such, the FIFA World Cup (21 Nov - 18 Dec) will be the biggest marketing opportunity of the year - potentially of the decade. 26.4m watched ITV’s England v Denmark Euros’ semi-final, and we’re expecting at least 80% of the UK to tune into this year’s coverage. With 2 home nations now qualified - England and Wales - we’re expecting record audiences.

If your message is time sensitive, then here’s where one of television’s superpowers really kicks in… 95% of viewing will be live, and 99% will be watched on the same day. There is simply no other way to get a message out to so many millions of people in the very same instant. It’s the unique and powerful magic of telly.

We want as many brands as possible to be able to get involved, whether big or small, regional or national. As such, we’re creating a treasure chest of opportunities and support to make this a Christmas World Cup for everyone - as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Because of the expected scale of viewing, we’re choosing to apply a 20% discount to the price of all campaigns booking into the Christmas World Cup. meaning you’ll get a big chunk of additional value free of charge. For once, ‘Extra Time’ is a good thing! We want to be accessible to as many budgets as possible, to bring in new and smaller brands, and help everyone’s investment go further.

And because the World Cup audience is so varied, there’s no better place to generate 1+ cover. Your 20% price reduction will deliver incremental reach on even the smallest of budgets, regardless of target audience. For example, invest £100k - £500k in the World Cup and you’ll get an average +26% greater reach for 16-34 Adults, +24% for Housepersons with kids, +27% for ABC Adults and +20% for Light Viewers, compared to the same audience in non-football programming. For larger budgets, your investment works even harder.

You’ll benefit even if you only commit a portion of your wider budget (again, even with smaller budgets or regional spend). For example, moving 10% from ‘normal’ ratings into the World Cup could deliver an additional 1+ cover of 10% on 16-34 Ads; 4% on ABC Ads and 6% on Housepersons with kids. Moving 30% could deliver an increase of 20% on 16-34 Adults; 14% on ABC Adults and 18% on Housepersons with kids.

So, if our 20% reduction has whet your whistle then let my team know. There are a few T&Cs, so we’ll give you more details when we chat.

To help your advertising pack a punch, we’re joining our creative effectiveness partners at System1 Group to deliver support in 3 ways:

  1. Creative testing at cost: The World Cup will be a fantastically efficient way to reach multiple demographics in the same instant. But how do you know if your creative treatment will work with them all? System1 is offering to test your ad creative at cost in advance of your campaign, to see how widely it fares with audiences such as football fans (or non-fans), men, women, younger audiences and more. This will provide incredibly valuable feedback whether you’re new to TV, or a seasoned TV advertiser needing independent benchmarking.

  2. The Winning 11: In the coming weeks, we’ll be refreshing our 30-page guide to brilliant World Cup advertising, based on 11 principles. For example, ‘Play to the Crowd’ by keeping your target audience as wide as possible; ‘Sing When You’re Winning’ to emotionally connect through more melodic music, rather than repetitive rhythm. Please let us know if you’d like a copy.

  3. Top of the table: We’ll be running a competition to celebrate and reward the top 5 advertisers from across the tournament, from the best performing football-themed ad to the best new-to-TV brand, and the most emotionally engaging creative. You’ll be entered automatically , as we’re already testing over 95% of all TV advertising with System1, and we’ll share more details in September.

If you’re new to TV, and not yet ready to appoint a creative agency, then we’d love to help with our in-house creative production services which range from concept through to delivery, all charged at cost. This is another way we can ensure it can be a World Cup for everyone.

Before I leave you for summer, spare a thought for our Love Island islanders who’ve been forced to spend 7 weeks in a villa in Mallorca. You might think all they do is sit around the pool, partying and having dates with each other, but they’re actually some of the hardest working sales people in town. Apparently eBay - the show’s official pre-loved fashion partner - has seen a 700% boost in searches for second hand clothing on their platform. Even Hello! is reporting it! You can find out more about our partnership here.

So if thoughts of Christmas football are leaving you cold in these record-breaking July temperatures, then let me remind you that we’ll be having two Love Island series next year. It would appear Love Island’s ability to drive sales is as strong as ever.

Shall we couple up? ????

Thank you for all your support, investment and partnership across this year. I hope you have a chance to spend happy times with family and friends over the coming weeks, and I’ll be back with my next update after the holidays, as we head towards the launch of ITVX…

Kind regards,


MD, Commercial, ITV

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