"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!” Buddy the Elf
We’ve been excited to hear the jingling of Christmas briefs over the last few weeks, as we’ve been involved in an increasing number of longer-term marketing plans, with brands now looking towards the end of the year.
Christmas, Black Friday and Halloween are already on our radar, and we’d love to discuss ways we can work with you across these key customer moments. We’ll be dedicating a Powerbank webinar to planning for Q4 on July 8th, and will share more on the panel for this in our update next week.
Additionally, we’re starting to discuss ideas around World Mental Health Day, which takes place on Saturday 10th October. The impact of Covid on mental health has led many to describe it as ‘the hidden pandemic’, and this one sadly has no prospect of a vaccine. We’ll be developing our Britain Get Talking initiative specifically around this global event, and we’re inviting brands to be part of our story in a meaningful way, so please let us know if we can talk with you.
More generally, those green shoots I’ve highlighted in previous weeks are starting to flower. The increase in campaign bookings from May to June had already been positive, but the growth in investment into July is an even more substantial gear change. Firstly, thank you! It means we’re able to continue investing in ITV's future with greater certainty. More importantly, it’s a tangible sign of increasing confidence from the market, and we hope it’s an encouragement to continue “singing loud for all to hear!”
It’s also a good prompt to remind you of last week’s Campaign article where 12 leading CMOs built the case for advertising as “an engine for recovery and for growth”. As Mastercard’s marketing chief Raja Rajamannar says, “Going dark is not an option; brands risk losing salience. Regaining it is an arduous journey – expensive and time-consuming. Keeping the brand present and visible, always, is critical.”
We announced this week that our ITV Hub is being supersized across the summer, as we boost it with a significant increase in programming, particularly dramas, documentaries and reality TV. We’re now extending our offering to a 6-month back catalogue, giving viewers access to more series, and also all episodes within boxed set series (instead of older episodes dropping off individually at different times).
We’re adding 300 hours of programming immediately, and then around 250 more hours across the summer months as content moves from catch up into the extended window.
For example, viewers will now have another opportunity to ‘binge’ our must-see scripted dramas White House Farm, Quiz and Flesh and Blood, as well as the most recent full series of Liar and Bancroft. In factual, we’re adding the full series of Harry [Redknapp] on Sandbanks, Bradley Walsh and his son’s Breaking Dad, and the hilarious Gordon, Gino and Fred: American Road Trip and (well worth a watch!).
Over 200 people registered for our special Coronation Street webinar this week. The show’s sponsorship is available at the end of the year, and we’re also seeking brand partners for the show’s 60th anniversary, so the discussion with producers, cast and Commercial’s Hayley and Dags is a useful first step into exploring how a close partnership with the nation’s biggest story could work for your brand.
Next week’s Powerbank session takes on a creative new format, in that it’s part-discussion and part-workshop… a chance for you to immerse yourself in the world of storytelling, and explore how brands can turn tales into sales. ITV's commercial marketing director Chris Goldson will host a session with Mark Bickerton, a writer, story consultant, lecturer and speaker with over 2,000 credits in TV, theatre and radio.
Mark has storylined, edited, produced and written many soaps and dramas including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. And as a story consultant he's worked all over the world including Rwanda, where he created and produced a radio soap about peace, reconciliation and health following the genocide. Our session will help you explore your own brand’s story, and may give you a new perspective on how to share your brand with customers. It could be a great session to involve your whole team in, and you can register for it here:
There was a moment this week when we planned on using a rather different quote at the start of this email… “Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening!” Thankfully the forecast has improved, so I’ll leave you to a less dramatic weekend and we’ll see you on the other side!
MD, ITV Commercial
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