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2016 Bronze Best Digital Performance

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Agency Maxus Communications

Client BT Sport

Campaign summary

The biggest ever UK live stream audience

Campaign overview

BT Sport needed to increase consideration and purchase of its channels, but faced difficulty from football fans who resented BT for putting UEFA Champions League behind a paywall and weren’t engaging with their advertising.

A solution was needed to bring in a large volume of viewers to sample their service.

Strategy

In a world of subscriptions and pay-wall content, BT opened up their gates for two of the biggest football events of the year, giving fans a chance to see what they were missing by not having a BT Sport package.

This campaign allowed people to see for themselves the quality of BT Sport’s broadcasting, not only enhancing the reputation of BT Sport but also developing a credible relationship with the football fandom.

The campaign used the highest reaching VOD platform available and data capabilities on offer. Moreover, reactions to the live stream were unprecedented and allowed this campaign to push beyond a simple ATL promotion.

BT received tens of thousands of pieces of positive coverage in social media and PR and 140k new YouTube subscribers - all helping to reverse any negative feeling with BT’s coverage and guardianship of the competitions.

Creativity

The chance to showcase the Champions League and Europa League Finals for free on YouTube allowed BT to frame an ideal strategy for this campaign.

Streams needed to win high numbers of viewers and with this free-to-air approach, BT gained maximum distribution: anyone with the internet could view these games.

By partnering with YouTube, BT would be more likely to convince rejecters to engage and enjoy the finals. Finally, in order to gain traction with football fans so they would subscribe to BT Sport, they would need to follow up with any viewers after the stream.

With the volume of views generated from these streams and the compelling nature of the content available, a retargeting element was an essential part of the campaign as it allowed BT to target viewers further down the purchase funnel.

Results

The two finals drove the biggest ever UK live stream audience to date. By pushing the content for free on YouTube, high volumes were not just reached - they went beyond expectation.

There were 12 million views across the two finals through linear TV channels and YouTube combined.

Ultimately, the use of a digital medium was that unlike linear TV, YouTube allowed BT to collect a remarketing list comprising fans of live European football.

Maxus processed and collated this data in order to re-target the viewers with follow up communications, providing BT a unique way to continue a conversation at the most relevant times of the football season.

Team

James Williams (Account Director) • Chris Wood (Head of Sport) • Sophie Santallusia (Account Manager) • Tom Pugh (Industry Manager)

Contributors

YouTube (Tech provider)

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