To incentivise marketers to spend on TV, and help ease production pressures, Channel 4 is offering free use of its in-house team 4Creative to advertisers.
While broadcasters are attracting record audiences during lockdown, they are bracing themselves for a precipitous drop in advertising income. Channel 4 has already said it is anticipating ad revenue to plunge more than 50% over the course of April and May.
Broadcasters are now looking to remove the friction from TV production and buying, and Channel 4 hopes the “heightened value” of TV in a stay-at-home nation can attract new and existing clients. One senior media buyer recently told The Drum that TV prices are “through the floor” and could think of few reasons not to use the medium right now.
However, it is not just costs that marketers are thinking about. The broadcaster has also identified that some brands do not now have the same production means they enjoyed before the lockdown. And as a result it is freeing up the 4Creative team and external production partners including The Outfit and Sassy Films.
There is a £20,000 cap on these services and due to the nature of social distancing measures, it will be difficult to gather new footage. Some brands have favoured slideshows of stills, others at-home footage. Some have enough pre-shot assets in the bag to work with already.
Channel 4 stresses this is a “short-term solution”. Sales director Matthew Salmon said: “TV has never been more valued by audiences whilst offering such great value for advertisers. We recognise however that the current limited availability of production services could still be a barrier. We want to remove that barrier by offering this unique, free-of-charge service during this unique time, providing brands access to our internationally renowned 4Creative, and our award-winning production partners.“
Zaid Al-Qassab, chief marketing officer of Channel 4, added: “4Creative is renowned for producing award-winning campaigns aimed at Channel 4’s key young and upmarket audience and we look forward to using that expertise to work together with 4Sales’ production and brand partners in these exceptional times.”
Channel 4 has also unveiled a suite of digital ad products on All 4 which it may steer new clients into. All 4 has reported large, engaged audiences this last month.
Its advanced data suite allows marketers to migrate and match their own datasets with Channel 4’s 23 million registrants. Targeting options have been expanded via a partnership with adtech firm Acxiom. And finally, in the new suite, brands can build their audiences using a combination of viewer registration data, viewing preferences and All 4 ad delivery.
From May, All 4 inventory will be buyable through DSPS Adobe and The Trade Desk and SSP Freewheel.