By John Glenday | Reporter

June 2, 2021 | 3 min read

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Dave is to expand its online presence by doubling down on digital content and expanding its social media output.

The UKTV-owned British free-to-air television channel has commissioned five short-form comedy shows designed for social media consumption and is actively recruiting for a video manager, video editor, junior social analyst, deliverables coordinator and a community manager at its social media division.

Chasing further online growth, Dave has commissioned two YouTube shorts – Big Zuu’s Wrap Clash, a spin-off of Big Zuu’s Big Eats, and Who Cares?, which sees Chicken Shop Date creator Amelia Dimoldenberg preside over an irreverent food competition.

This will be joined by The Comedy Guide to Life on Dave’s roster, a Facebook exclusive featuring stand-up comedians providing their droll takes on modern life. Rounding out the content push is Backchat, a comedy talk radio show also destined for Facebook, and Bad Advice with Olga Koch, an eight-part comedy series.

These efforts will be bolstered by a team of raw social media recruits tasked with managing Dave’s Facebook and YouTube pages and driving engagement as episodes are drip-fed weekly over the coming months.

Erina Jones, UKTV’s head of social and online, commented: “It’s an incredible opportunity to test out new formats, work with a new generation of talent and extend the enjoyment of our popular Dave Originals for existing fans, and hopefully entice a wave of new fans too.”

Andrea Amey, UKTV’s newly-appointed head of digital strategy, added: “Younger audiences are spending increasing amounts of time on social media, so by creating bespoke and bite-sized shows online, I hope they’ll find something they enjoy featuring Dave’s well-known witty tone. When editorially appropriate, we’ll also premiere the best of Dave’s short-form content on our on-demand service, UKTV Play.”

UKTV has been steadily inching away from traditional linear TV for a while, with Dave’s YouTube channel enjoying a 312% uptick in views and 24,000 subscribers since its launch in December. The network’s Facebook page, meanwhile, has garnered 157,000 new followers and expanded its reach by 33% over the past year.

This follows the success of Channel 4 in raising its profile on social media, courting younger viewers with a suite of social-first branded content created by its in-house 4Studio unit. Increasingly enthusiastic about the medium, the network has tailored its content to meet surging interest after observing that branded shows deliver greater uplift than TV ads.

This success has been driven by word-of-mouth successes such as What Pandemic?, a comedy routine in which Josh Widdicombe and James Acaster struggle not to mention the Covid pandemic, racking up 2m views for their troubles.

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