UKTV Play creates TV advice bot in Facebook Messenger to promote first major campaign

UKTV has announced the first major marketing campaign for its on-demand TV brand, UKTV Play, coinciding with an overhaul of the digital service’s user experience.

Launching this week, the integrated campaign ‘Love Your Thing’ will comprise of on-air advertising, national digital outdoor marketing, social and publicity executions, and a location-based initiative, being triggered by specific weather conditions, traffic and time.

The ‘Love Your Thing’ campaign intends to position UKTV Play as the entertainment brand that serves the eclectic viewing tastes of Britain, in a world where on demand TV is globally homogenised. UKTV has worked with advertising agency Antidote to produce the off-air campaign creative, which centres on the breadth and eclecticism of UKTV Play’s content offering.

UKTV Play will also run the world’s first dynamic, social TV Chatterbot recommendation engine run via an intuitive Facebook Messenger Chatterbot, due to be rolled out later this month.

Chatterbot is a chatbot that makes use of Facebook’s recent integration of bots to the Messenger App. The idea behind the Facebook Messenger chatbot is to create an accessible and guiding expert for viewers looking for something to watch through a personalised, curated and individual experience. Users will be asked questions like what mood they’re in, and what they’re currently up to, and then the software will deliver a recommendation for something to watch on UKTV Play based on their answers.

The dynamic off-air assets will roll out as a digital outdoor campaign. The campaign features £250,000 worth of real-time data-informed advertising that will react and update when triggered, dependent on location, environment and when specific conditions are met. Spots in locations such as high streets, shopping malls, trains and rail stations will be informed by intelligent traffic, weather and location data feeds. Antidote will use OpenLoop to update the creative throughout the campaign live period as required.

The off-air will be supported on-air by a new conceptual brand promo, genre-specific clip-based promos and BEOPS (Beginning And End Of Parts).

Antidote’s Creative Director, Teddy Keen, said, “UKTV Play has something the other players don't - an unapologetic appreciation of the individual when it comes to TV. In that way ‘Love Your Thing’ is a simple idea that comes straight from the heart of the brand and reminds us all that it's okay to watch the stuff we love, no matter what that is.”

To coincide with the marketing push, UKTV is also revealing significant updates to its UKTV Play interface. The revamped service has been designed to make give viewers a better more personalised experience through a reorganised homepage, higher-quality programme images and the introduction of easy-to-view genre listings. The new programme guide makes it easy to find on demand programmes from the TV schedules.

The new look UKTV Play will launch on PC today, with other platforms to follow.

UKTV Play’s general manager Emma Boston commented: “We wanted to reward users with an even better UKTV Play, and rigorous A/B testing has allowed us to develop a brilliant new streamlined interface to ensure visitors can find something great to watch in seconds.

“The new look site is set against an aesthetic, clean white background to give it a premium feel that mirrors the quality of our content. Our research shows that once people come in to use UKTV Play, they’re very likely to keep coming back, so it’s crucial their experience is first class every time.”

The news comes as UKTV recently celebrated its most successful year, with record viewing share putting the broadcaster ahead of Channel 5’s portfolio and all of Sky’s wholly owned channels for the first time.

The service also recently appointed its first ever chief marketing and communications officer, Zoe Clapp, to better understand its audience in a period of growth.

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