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ITV: 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards Shortlist Interview

A repositioning as “the heart of popular culture”, revamped advertising strategy and new logo led to a short-term ROMI for the TV company of £1.14 for every £1 spent.


Q1. When and why did you decide to launch a campaign?

CP: “Rufus Radcliffe arrived at ITV as Marketing and Research Director in August 2011.  He immediately embarked on a root and branch review of the brand.  By the end of 2011, it was clear that the data showed we needed to change the perception of the ITV brand.  2012 was the year for planning and shaping and creating those changes.  It was launched in 2013.”  

Q2. How did you feel about the original brief?

RR: “Excited and terrified!  No broadcaster had ever attempted to do such a rebrand.  Broadcasters had re-launched channels, but they hadn’t re-launched the entire network.”

Q3. How hard was it to get the campaign signed off?

RR: “We set out our arguments for the rebrand rooted in audience research.  Our arguments for the need for change were based on fact and not emotion.”

Q4. When and how did you first know that you had been successful?

RR: “First signs of success were the day the rebrand was delivered!  On Day 1 when nothing went wrong, we knew that it would be OK.  However, it’s crazy to rest on your laurels.  The work on the brand is never done, you can’t ever take your eye of the ball.”

Q5. What was the biggest challenge in demonstrating the effectiveness of your work?

CP: “Demonstrating clear marketing effect on media owner brands is notoriously difficult but we’ve shown that forensic rigour and econometrics can help make the link between brand performance and financial performance.” 

Q6. How did this campaign compare to previous campaigns by the brand and competitors?

CP: “No broadcaster has ever attempted such a network rebrand before so it doesn’t bear comparison with competitors or what we’ve done previously.”

Q7. What lessons did this campaign teach you?

RR: 1. Be brave

2. Hold your nerve

3. Remain focused

4. Get the wider business on side early

5. Communicate with the team all the time

6. Set a challenging timetable as this galvanises people

Q8. What were the low points/high points of this campaign?

RR: “January 14th, 2013, was the high point when it was all up and running.  The low point was November 15th, 2012, when we unveiled the logo at the Upfronts and it got negative feedback on Twitter, even being described as looking like a complicated sex toy!”

Q9. What would you do differently if you did this campaign over again?

RR: “Free up more time in idea development.”

Q10. If you could have worked on one, other IPA award-winning campaign over the years which would it be, and why?

CP: “Marmite’s Please don’t spread it thinly (Silver, 2002).  The love/hate campaign is one of my favourites and this case study is brilliant in how the team identified that usage, not penetration, was the key to profit growth.”

Last updated 10/09/2014

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