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By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

May 3, 2023 | 4 min read

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The Drum sits down with the team heading up BBC Studios’ new social-first ad sales arm to explore the power of ‘thumb-stopping social content’ in the branded entertainment space.

Create, Innovate and Amplify with BBC Studios Social

Create, Innovate and Amplify with BBC Studios Social

The launch of BBC Studios Social gives UK advertisers access to a slate of previously untapped world-renowned global TV brands, from Doctor Who to Top Gear to Hey Duggee and Bluey, ushering in new opportunities to make real impact in the social branded entertainment space.

Audiences are consuming more and more on social media, whether that be on YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram, with 4.7bn views across social accounts operated by BBC Studios alone.

“People are experiencing content and consuming TV content in different ways,” says Gary Webber, the group head of digital advertising at BBC Studios Social. “Social media is where audiences are at and it’s what has been driving the social growth within BBC Studios.”

Where audiences go, advertisers are quick to follow, but when there’s so much noise in social media today, how can brands ensure they stand out?

“There are so many partners, brands and outlets, and they’re all talking at the same time, so it’s incredibly noisy out there,” says Jasmine Dawson, the senior vice-president of digital consumer engagement at BBC Studios. “The innovation that happens to overcome that is what’s exciting. When you see brands really making an impact, innovating and engaging with their audience, that is incredibly intuitive to not only the audience but also to the brand.”

For brands to make an impact on those audiences, they need to be present and “turn up in a way that feels natural and authentic,” she adds.

Offering a range of formats from direct sales to sponsorships to branded content across an eclectic brand portfolio that includes heritage brands such as Doctor Who and Top Gear, kids’ favorites Bluey and Hey Duggee, as well as new and original social content opportunities like Hack Attack (and more in the pipeline), Webber is confident that this new offering has broad appeal to any type of advertiser looking to engage with passionate audiences.

He says: “Our content ticks every kind of touchpoint, so it’s not a case of who, but more why would you not want to be [associated with these household TV brands] in that space?”

BBC Studios Social is only at the start of its journey, but with an unrivaled global reach of 4.7bn views across all its social accounts, the team knows it is already on to something great. And, moving forward, the strategy is not to change anything but to build on top of it to unlock new, exciting and disruptive ways for creative branded social entertainment.

“We not only have an eclectic portfolio, we also have our passionate fan bases, which really set us apart,” says Dawson. “The thing that really brings audiences together is their passions, which they are engaging with. That has helped us grow and that’s what we expect to see more of in the future.”

For more insights on the power of social-first branded entertainment as well as more details about the formats and inventory now available to advertisers, watch the full video interview at the top of the page.

BBC Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

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BBC Studios Social

We specialise in connecting online audiences to the best of British entertainment through original social media content. We operate on over 90 channels across all...

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