Introducing the Next Level for BBC iPlayer
I wanted to provide a little bit of background to how we got here.
BBC iPlayer has been a huge success since it launched in 2007, under the banner of "making the unmissable, unmissable". At the time, the market for video-on-demand was in its infancy, and the challenge for us was to explain to a mainstream TV audience what BBC iPlayer was. It was a multiple award-winning campaign, and played a part in establishing BBC iPlayer as the best in its class.
But the world has changed since then. Video-on-demand services are everywhere and lots of people have digital video recorders. Social media went mainstream, and while we have attracted a large audience to BBC iPlayer there are plenty of people who don't use it.
The science - talking to people
So this is the challenge I inherited when I joined the BBC last year - and first you have to find out where BBC iPlayer sits in people's lives, through focus groups and research.
First, we found that while people love what BBC iPlayer can do, our marketing messages were beginning to have less impact. Until now we've focused on the functional "you can catch up on programmes" but it was clear that we needed to connect with people on an emotional level, rather than a functional level.
Second, while people love the programmes (the most important part of the BBC iPlayer experience, and what resonates with people more than anything else) using the programmes themselves to promote the BBC iPlayer experience wasn't really conveying what's so good about BBC iPlayer itself. Some people thought it was just another programme trail. This campaign needed to be about the experience.
Finally, we needed to move on from the tag of "catch-up". Three years ago it was a major selling point, but now it's a commodity in a crowded market. Nor does it really capture what BBC iPlayer has become. In a world of plus-one channels and PVRs, catching up isn't nearly as hard as it used to be.
So, while people are interested in the fact that you can access the last seven days' programmes through a website, it was the empowerment factor that really connected: creating a TV and radio experience on your own terms, and the ability to discover great programmes you may not have been looking for. And that's why this campaign feels very different to those that ran before - we are trying to tell people how using BBC iPlayer makes you feel, beyond simply what it does.
We have created a theme (based on a portal) which is built to last.
It starts tomorrow with the first broadcast of the trailer above. At this stage, we're simply trying to attract a bit of attention to the fact that BBC iPlayer has changed. It picks up on the idea that if you've not yet seen BBC iPlayer, rather than just being a "catch-up service" - it's a complete entertainment destination. A whole new world, that's worth a look, if you like.
Two weeks later, we'll have some more TV trails and the start of the Radio campaign, that will start to explain what's on the other side of the portal, explaining the benefits of the features audiences told us they wanted the most - e.g. favourites, recommendations - as well as elements that are really important for parents (such as the parental lock). Soon after that, an online marketing campaign will start to complement what we're doing on air.
Of course we don't expect people to be able to judge a campaign on just one trail (that you can embed from here) and the team will be posting all the other trails on the BBC's YouTube channel in coming weeks. But we'd love to know what you think so far.
Simon Lloyd is Director of Marketing for the BBC's Future Media & Technology division
- Editor's note - credits for the trail:
BBC Marketing - Simon Lloyd, Terry McGrath & Helen Weeks; Agency - RKCR/Y&R; Creative Director - Mark Roalfe; Creatives - Dan Hubert & Amber Casey; Director - Mario Zozin; Production Company - Red Bee Media; Producer - Louise Jones;
Production Manager - Emily Simpson; Editing House - The Quarry; Editor - Jonnie Scarlett;
Post Production - Framestore; Flame Op - Jude Roberts; Audio - Wave; Composer - Tam Nightingale.