Television channels market themselves in a variety of ways:

  • Trailers for specific programmes as well as general trailers expressing the brand identity of the channel and illustrating the overall range of its content.
  • Official websites that give detailed, additional information about TV programmes broadcast by the channel.
  • Official social media accounts that promote the channel on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Cross-platform advertising a TV show or TV channel in a magazine, on radio or online. This also includes star actors appearing on talk shows prior to a new TV series being broadcast.
  • Channel idents.
  • Merchandise from popular TV shows is also used to market channel content.

Case study: Sherlock

The second series of Sherlock ended on a cliffhanger, with the question posed: is Sherlock dead? The first teaser trailer for the new third series saw the BBC market the show in a very creative way.

In the trailer we see a room full of young people who all look at their mobile phones after receiving the same notification alert.

They have been notified that Sherlock is alive.

A series of hashtags about Sherlock still being alive then flood the screen, and the trailer ends with the hashtag #sherlocklives.

After this trailer was broadcast, excited fans took to Twitter using the hashtag suggested by the BBC trailer.

The trailer was also available on YouTube and was shared on social media with the trailer and the hashtag trending worldwide.

Television programmes can be exported globally as a television format. Shows like Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing that have a formulaic structure are easily adapted by different countries.

Case study: Strictly Come Dancing

The format of Strictly Come Dancing, a BBC flagship programme, was sold by the commercial division of the BBC, BBC Worldwide, to 43 countries.

Jay and Aliona performing on Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing's format has a global appeal

The programme is known around the world, in its international format, as Dancing with the Stars.

It is estimated that 250 million people have watched these various national versions of Strictly Come Dancing, showing the format's global appeal and marketability.