Channel 5 looks to underscore its warm 'unpretentiousness' through talent-led campaign
Channel 5 is marking almost four years under Viacom with a campaign firmly cementing itself as a comforting, unpretentious brand for a thoroughly British audience.
At Home on 5
Channel 5’s talent sits at the heart of ‘At Home on 5’s creative, which launches today (26 March). TV spots feature the likes of Tony Robinson, Ben Fogle, Jane McDonald and Claudia-Liza Armah discussing the concept of ‘home’, and what it means to them.
The campaign aims to thread through what Chris Aylott, Channel 5’s senior director for marketing, refers to as the “diversity and breadth and quality of content available on the channel”. Since Viacom brought the brand into its stable in 2014, the channel has been handed a 27% increase in budget – cash it’s invested primarily in home grown, original programming.
“There’s a real sense that Channel 5 talks to real people and reflects modern Britain today,” Aylott told The Drum. “We certainly are a general entertainment channel, but there are commonalities that unify our [original programming] and those are the warmth, the authenticity, the unpretentiousness of our content.
“A sense of home is really about us being a place where people go to feel safe … I think the campaign encapsulates Channel 5 today as a warm and welcoming space that has an open door for everyone.”
This brand personality – that of a familiar, warm hug – is clear in the channel’s current slate of British-made programming: Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh, Paddington Station 24/7, Bargain-Loving Brits in the Sun. It’s also conveyed in Channel 5’s choice of language, explained Aylott.
“We always talk about being colloquial – not getting lost in language and speaking to people in a very real way – and authenticity lives and breathes through this campaign,” he said. “That unpretentiousness and authenticity is really key I think it's something that people will be able to connect with.
Aside from the above-the-line creative (earmarked for TV, video on demand, YouTube and cinema) this brand personality will be brought to life in the channel’s first foray into conversation marketing. A chatbot has been developed with Mobile 5 to extend the ‘At Home on 5’ messaging onto Twitter, designed with people heading home from work in mind.
“When we see people on their commutes home who are making decisions about what they might watch on TV, or what they’re going to have for dinner, or getting into their sweats ... we’ll be able to really get into those warm and engaging conversations,” explained Aylott.
There’s also a three-year partnership with UK homelessness charity Crisis, which will comprise volunteering days for all Channel 5 staff and the not-for-profit’s branding featured across the network. Overall, it’s the single biggest investment in marketing from the brand since it was acquired by Viacom. Will it appeal to advertisers too?
“[The investment] is a real testament to the commercial success that the channel has had in the last four years,” Aylott, referencing the brand securing the largest year-on-year audience growth (5%) of any UK terrestrial broadcaster portfolio during 2017.
He continued: “For advertisers, I think [the campaign] will resonate ... we’ve seen really strong growth in ABC1s and we’re seeing new audiences come to the channel. We know that as a channel we’re reaching over 85% of the population every year. We know there’s opportunity for growth, we’ve seen that in the last few months.
“Now we’re going out to make sure audiences are aware of the real evolution of the quality content we have on offer and the range of talent and genres that Channel 5 offers audiences.”
He added: “This isn’t a gear change, this is part of the story of growing that channel and evolving the offering.”
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