New Foxtel channel BBC First starts promotional push with campaign from Droga5

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.09.37 AMBBC Worldwide is promoting its new premium British drama channel BBC First with a campaign from Droga5 which focuses on the complexity and unpredictability of great British drama which is set to roll out globally.

The new channel, which was conceived locally but is set to be rolled out as part of the global BBC brand, launches on Foxtel on August 3 with the promotional campaign kicking off this weekend.

BBC Worldwide ANZ director of brands and marketing Melissa Madden said: “It’s the BBC’s premium drama brand and what will be on it will be first run drama. For the first time ever, the BBC is going to have first run drama and it’s going to be ad free and fast-tracked from the UK.”

Madden acknowledged the channel model is a way to fight piracy in Australia (Mumbrella recently published a series on the issue which can be found here).

“One of the most effective things to fight pirating is fast-tracking because you’re making the content available as soon as anyone can get it anywhere else,” she said.

“It’s a real challenge. It’s particularly an Australian issue.”

BBC Worldwide ANZ head of communications Laura Dumbrell added: “With the programming it’s delivering it to people in the way they enjoy it, ad free, and everything we’ve done it’s with that in mind”

Created by Droga5 and set to roll out globally the commercials promote the channel’s two key launch titles Peaky Blinders and The Musketeers.

In both 30 and 60 second executions, Droga5 took over an empty warehouse erecting screens to create a maze installation on which the key shows were projected. The camera winds its way around the maze while the screens bring to life the programs, leading into the campaign tagline “What’s next?”

“The whole thought around the campaign is around not knowing that unexpectedness, not knowing what’s happening next of British drama,” said Madden.

“It’s very much demonstrating the nuances and complexity of the content.”

The two ads sit alongside a 30, 60 and 90 second sizzle reels showcasing the breadth of content from the channel, produced by the BBC Australia creative team, which launched earlier in the week.

It is the first stage in a “360 degree campaign” which will countdown the weeks to the launch of BBC First. Complementing the TV ads are outdoor executions, digital, press and radio advertising.

This first phase of the campaign  is about building awareness of the channel, Madden explained, while the second phase is about “driving people to view and making people aware of the content and when it will be on”.

The outdoor element, including large format billboards and bus shelters, kick off from June 15.

“It’s the most significant thing we’ve done from a marketing perspective in this market,” said Madden on the campaign.

With a target core audience of “culturally curious” women aged 40-54, with a broader demographic of 25-54 year old affluent people, the channel aims to fill a spot on Foxtel in between Showcase, which is more aimed at men, and 13th Street which has a much older demographic.

“There’s this wonderful gap which is this female skewing, 35 plus female viewer in the quality, drama space. That’s where we see a real opportunity,” said Madden.

“Obviously, programming, like Showcase, it’s going to have some that appeals to other demographics but that’s the core target audience.”

On its launch day, the channel will aim to give viewers a feel for what to expect.

It kicks off with a full day of  key program The Musketeers starting at 9.30am, a “sneak peak” at Peaky Blinders with the first episode premiering, and the BAFTA winning special Burton and Taylor.

“The first day is a really good showcase of the types of shows that are going to be on the channel,” said Madden.

Trollback in New York has worked on the channel’s branding, alongside the BBC’s UK-based brand’s team.

“It’s been quite an interesting experience, we’re in Australia, Trollback are the brand agency in New York and we have our brands team in the UK,” said Madden.

The channel will also partner with local production houses, with Banished, a story about Governor Arthur Phillip’s landing, having wrapped production recently.

BBC First

BBC First




Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.