The Campaign

We know ITV is home to emotive experiences and during a year when friends had been separated, we set out to create a campaign that focused on the real-life magic of friendship. The video call service, Portal from Facebook, selected ITV and Mindshare UK to deliver its first-ever UK media partnership. The festive campaign called on much-loved TV talent to effortlessly highlight the service’s innovative technology while bringing to life its brand promise: ‘If you can’t be there, feel there.’ 

The Results

+12% The campaign out-performed traditional TVC metrics by an average of +12%, leading in 5 out of 6 metrics measured.

24% Increase in positive perceptions

18% Uplift in consideration pre and post exposure

83% Brand attribution

The insight

Social restrictions led to an increase in loneliness. According to government research, 31% of people reported feeling lonely during the first lockdown in 2020 


The challenge

How can you show the UK that it’s possible to maintain human connections even when you’re not in the same room? People’s lifestyles had been dramatically affected by the pandemic and the Christmas ad slot needed to reflect people’s real lives for it to be authentic. In a competitive market of apps and video calling services, we needed to make sure the service’s features would naturally stand out. 


The idea 

What if we let the nation watch a long-overdue catch-up between two of the UK’s favourite friends? And with that, we launched ‘Catching up… with Portal’, a TV, social, influencer, and digital campaign featuring TV talent Holly Willoughby and Ashley Banjo. Crucially, the pair are best friends off-screen so we let viewers watch genuine exchanges. We wanted to create cut-through content that showed the pair’s natural quirks and highlighted how Portal from Facebook’s features were key to connecting people.

Portal was created to keep friends and loved ones close, even when they can’t physically be together. Partnering with ITV and featuring the real friendship of Holly and Ashley is a perfect way for us to show that with Portal, you can still feel like you’re in the same room together, and that Christmas can still feel like Christmas. Aaron Hoffman, EMEA Marketing Lead for Portal from Facebook

The Activation

  • We worked with our in-house creative ad agency, ITV Creative, to get under the skin of Holly and Ashley’s friendship. Off-screen, what do they talk about? How do they spend their free time?

  • We learnt that Ashley likes creating dance routines and Holly likes baking up a storm! This formed the basis of two 30-second TV ad spots, each focusing on the pair’s hobbies. 

  • Holly and Ashley showed off Portal by Facebook’s features, including built-in Alexa and the Smart Camera that pans and zooms as people move. The ad took away the awkwardness of static video calls, instead showing Holly multitasking and Ashley darting around the room. 

  • We launched the co-branded ads in contextually relevant spots, launching Ashley’s ad during The Voice and Holly’s during This Morning. 

  • Holly and Ashley supported the campaign by posting on their social media channels. Social posts across ITV and Facebook channels added to the hype!

We built our partnership strategy around those who intuitively aligned with the thoughts and feelings of the nation, and ITV is that perfect fit. Driving culture through ITV’s leading talent and programming enables us to connect Portal from Facebook brand, product, message and sentiment seamlessly in media with a truly standout and meaningful use of storytelling during a festive season unlike any other. Drew Simmons, Client Director, Mindshare Invention

The Takeaway

TV is a powerful medium to reflect real-world moments and respond thoughtfully to current contexts. In the ‘Catching up… with Portal’ campaign, this was evident in both the relevance of the creative and the carefully selected position of the ad spots. TV is also key for igniting emotional connections—making an ad about the importance of friendship during the festive period made this campaign even more special. 

Have you tried TV?

If you're looking to supercharge your brands growth, or revenue, then TV might be the perfect partnership. Why not partner with the UK's largest commercial broadcaster to kick start your conversation with the nation today. 


Sound like the right opportunity for you? Get in touch with for more information.


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