The Television Bureau of Canada (TVB) says its recent “Tuned In” campaign successfully demonstrated the medium’s continued relevance in the era of Netflix and other digital competition.
TVB shared the results from “Tuned In,” which used 30-second TV commercials to direct Canadians to a downloadable app that invited them to record their feelings about their favourite TV programs, at its annual “TV Day” conference last Thursday.
TVB president and CEO Theresa Treutler said the campaign was based on the premise that TV no longer gets credit as a catalyst in connecting Canadians, even though it is unsurpassed in its ability to tell stories.
“We’d had really good success with the “Miracle Food” campaign in 2010, but at the pace we all work and live, you can’t really rest on your laurels for too long,” said Treutler. “It’s tough to build a really powerful case study—you don’t just want to go out with anything.”
After issuing an RFP, TVB hired Toronto agency Red Lion in August to oversee the campaign. The creative approach developed by Red Lion was an immediate hit when it was presented to TVB, said Treutler.
Treutler said the interactive campaign required consumers to fulfill multiple objectives: recall a new brand new name, identify with and agree to a statement that had never been asked before, download an app without knowing its function, tune in at a specific time and date, activate and engage with the app, and share the content on TV.
“We were asking for an awful lot from consumers,” she said. “But once you’re on that train you can’t get off.”
TVB worked with ZenithOptimedia Canada to ensure the campaign was weighted similar to any new product launch, with the buy spread evenly across both conventional and specialty channels (60% primetime, meeting day part objectives, etc.) and digital assets.
“We asked that they treat this like a launch, because it was,” said Treutler. “It was in line with what they would do for other clients.” The campaign was actually at a disadvantage in some ways, said Treutler, because it eschewed the multimedia approach clients typically take for a product launch (she cited the multifaceted launch campaign for Iögo yogurt as an example).
Consumer feedback was almost immediate, with 85% of Canadians aware of “Tuned In” after just three weeks of advertising. Meanwhile, agreement with the campaign’s positioning statement, “TV tells the stories that connect us,” rose from 62% before the campaign to 76% post-campaign.
Executing the roadblock for the reveal (the ads instructed Canadians to tune in 8:58 p.m. on Feb. 6) also proved tricky. Treutler admitted the roadblock “did not go perfectly,” with some TVB members airing the ad before or even after the appointed time, but consumer participation was not adversely impacted.
TVB had more than enough content than it could use in a year within the first few minutes of activating, even outperforming YouTube’s upload rates within the first hour. To date, there have been more than 10,000 uploads made via the Tuned In app.
While a study from Deloitte found that 80% of branded apps are typically downloaded less than 1,000 times, the Tuned In app garnered 32,000 downloads with less than six weeks of TV support. And while the average app is seldom used, the Tuned In app was used by 35% of people who downloaded it.
Treutler said that reports of TV’s declining efficacy are “way overblown,” whether examined from the perspective of revenue trends, viewing data or case studies like Tuned In.