Live life free

Challenge:

In the super-competitive world of entertainment providers, Freesat had a perception problem.

In recent years, the brand had rooted their identity as a value proposition in the category. Focusing on value wasn't the wrong thing to do, but the previously articulations of it were now limiting their potential to grow. 

To stay ahead of demanding sales targets, they needed to enhance their appeal and one segment in particular was proving especially elusive – Sky customers.

In theory, Freesat should have been an easy win for this group. Owned a satellite dish? Check. Growing tired of being tied down to a contract? Check. Shelling out lots of money each month for channels they don’t use? Absolutely check. 

Logically, Freesat’s subscription-free proposition felt like a match-made in TV heaven – get the same Sky box tech functionality, with access to your TV favourites, and all without the constant end-of-month, ahem, Sky-high bills.

If only it was that simple.


Insight:

Freesat’s continual laser focus on the ‘value’ market meant it was too big of a barrier to be taken seriously by Sky owners. 

This group were already used to paying for the privilege to access lots of quality content and Freesat’s ‘cheap and cheerful’ approach meant it was being perceived as an inferior brand.

In order to match their appetite for growth, the Freesat brand needed a more inclusive appeal.

Although, they resonated strongly with the lower-end ‘Free-TV’ audiences on a tight budget (e.g., existing Freeview watchers), Pay-TV audiences and their elusive Sky segment were continually tuning out. 

The honest truth was that Freesat had very limited credibility with Sky customers, so awareness and consideration scores remained low. 

In turn, this was having a significant impact on achieving sales targets and left the brand at a crossroads: maximise their appeal with Sky customers or miss out on untapped profit potential. 


Strategy & approach:

Achieving this transformation wasn’t going to be easy. 

So, we called upon our very own secret weapon at TMW headquarters to spearhead the attack – the Human Understanding Lab. This is our in-house team of human behaviour experts who enabled us to truly get under the skin of Sky customers, their TV habits and viewing experience.

We found that despite most Sky owners saying they were content with their current TV viewing habits, when we probed a little deeper and scratched the surface underneath, they actually were being frustrated by a number of small, underlying ‘TV niggles’.


Top 3 TV niggles:

POOR VALUE FOR MONEY
‘I’m spending over £1000 per year to watch TV’
CONTENT OVERLOAD
‘You fall into a black hole for 30 minutes when choosing’
FRAGMENTED EXPERIENCE
‘It’s annoying to have TV over 3 subscriptions’

The more people we spoke to and the more opinions we heard, the more our research led us to our killer insight about Sky customers – they were happily putting up with these niggling annoyances without the impetus to do much about it. 

This natural tension was compounded by lengthy contracts which was leaving many feel trapped with no way out.

This gave us a powerful starting point to reposition the brand and give it a new lease of life as an enabler. 


Solution: 

We created a brand strategy designed to empower audiences with the ‘freedom’ to enjoy what they love most − TV entertainment. 

We invited consumers to come with us and take the ‘path of enlightenment’ by entering a wonderful world of free entertainment with Freesat.  

With this in mind, our role for Sky customers became clear:

Empower with the freedom to enjoy TV without compromise.

This struck a real nerve with our disenchanted Sky customers as it awakened them to a new reality – one where they could still have all the access to amazing content, pause live TV functionality, box recordings, 4K picture quality – but all without the ongoing cost of a subscription.

Therefore, we elevated the Freesat brand proposition into a more aspirational space that took them from being seen as a ‘freedom from subscription’ to a ‘freedom to enjoy TV’.

And the Live Life Free brand platform was born.

This was our brand-spanking new call-to-arms for Freesat to ensure their appeal stretched to the so far out-of-reach Sky customers.

They had suffered enough and deserved the right to enjoy TV on their own terms, so Freesat was going to lead the charge and champion the ‘Live Life Free’ cause to them. 

But, to do this effectively, we needed some intrepid mascots to bang on the TV freedom drum loud and proud for the campaign. 

Enter our cute crustacean duo Ossi and Pod, two crabs literally unaware of the world of free entertainment just above their heads.

They were on hand to show potential customers all the fun of the fair, using an imaginary fairground pier to bring to life Freesat’s most compelling benefits using the visual metaphor of all your favourite rides, from Ferris Wheels to rollercoasters.

From an initial 30 second TVC, our clawsome double act scuttled into social skits, doordrops, the webstore and in store, happily tackling all the Sky TV customer pain points big claw first. Including cost.


Results & learnings:

Bringing a multi-channel story to life

The results of Live Life Free were impressive. In just the first three months from the campaign going live, Live Life Free had already caught loyal Sky customers hook, line and sinker, making them TWICE as likely to choose Freesat as their box provider.

There was also a net positive increase in brand perception scores across the board with more Sky owners than ever before aware that Freesat means enjoying TV on your terms (41%, +8 points) as well as the place to enjoy top channel programming (51%, +15 points).

We had successfully broadened the Freesat brand appeal and were shaking-off their value-based identity to help super-charge sales, one crab pun at a time.

As a result, we saw the Freesat brand topple Sky for 1st choice brand consideration in regions the campaign ran as well as reach a record high of 15% in 1st choice brand consideration amongst Sky owners.

Not bad for Ossi and Pod’s first adventure.


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Live life free

How a crustacean duo caught loyal Sky customers hook, line and sinker, making them TWICE as likely to choose Freesat

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TMW Unlimited

020 7349 4000 henry.joyce@tmwunlimited.com