Freesat Launch New TV Campaign From VCCP

(Official Freesat press release)

Freesat champions its ‘no‐catch’ proposition with new TV campaign from VCCP

Subscription‐free satellite TV service Freesat launches a new TV campaign this weekend (2nd October), as part of its march towards two million sales. This refreshed approach to the brand’s communication strategy is the first from Freesat’s new creative agency VCCP, and has a total spend of £5 million.

The new campaign establishes Freesat’s unique catch‐free proposition; more than 140 channels, free HD content from ITV and the BBC, Freesat+ to record and rewind TV, and catch‐up services from BBC iPlayer. All subscription‐free.

The series of 60 and 30 second‐long commercials which run through October to January 2011, were directed by James Griffiths – whose previous credits include work for Coca‐Cola, BT and Adidas, and
is currently working on a new Showtime / BBC production.

Will Abbott, Freesat Marketing and Communications Director, said;

This campaign speaks to savvy consumers who want brilliant TV but are fed up with paying through the nose for it. With Freesat they don’t have to.

It’s our biggest campaign yet. The TV commercials spell out what you really get with Freesat, reflecting the understandable scepticism many feel when something sounds just too good to be true. With Freesat, there is no catch.

Dominic Garcia‐Hall, Head of International Planning at VCCP, added;

these are watershed times in television, and we saw an opportunity for the brand to challenge the infighting so rife in the category, by focusing on what it does so well. Freesat is a unique commercial proposition, so deserves some special marketing.

The TV commercials take place on board Freesat 1, an imaginary satellite space station orbiting Earth, and document the goings‐on of the Freesat “tech team”. With plenty of time on their hands, this lovable crew dream up fanciful catches because Stu, the team newbie, can’t believe anything so good as Freesat could really be catch‐free. The catches range from the ridiculous to the impossible, from flat‐sharing with a boxing kangaroo to comforting a needy Yeti, making for some inimitably British comedy.

Alongside the new campaign, the Freesat website has been re‐launched, with a vibrant new look and feel. The refreshed site is also designed to boost Freesat’s social media presence, with campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to carry the no‐catch story far and wide.

Watch the advert here:

99 thoughts on “Freesat Launch New TV Campaign From VCCP”

  1. I too like that ad, presume the 30 sec ones will be the same but cut down slightly? I wonder if they’ll have any 10 sec bumper ads included at the end of a commercial with the main ad? It’s a well known fact that people are more likely to remember something once they see a reminder a few mins after the initial ad, this is why you see so many of these sort of things.

    Interesting they are running them through to January too as I dare feel there’s a few Sky subscribers who will feel the pinch when the 20% VAT rate kicks in!

  2. Well the new Freesat WWW page does not render for me anymore, used to no problem. W3C shows that there are 50 errors and 48 warnings in the front page. Seems like any new ad campaign might have less effect if some people are not able to view the Freesat site in all of its glory to get a bit more information.

    A bit strange this is the only WWW page that I have happened upon that will not render?

  3. I noticed there’s also a host of broken and non-inserted links in the FAQ section, suspect these are teething problems although might drop them an email if they aren’t already aware.

  4. @42
    In tesco today and their entire tv display was showing a sky advert loop, but in Argos thier tv display wall is showing a Freesat loop so things look to be impoving for the chance of a few extra sales.

  5. Well saw the advert during x factor and I have to say I think it is excellent and will grab the publics attention so fingers crossed it boasts sales figures. Come on everyone lets be positive, stop the whinging.

  6. I for one is not a whinger, I really like the Advert and this I hope will bring more people on to freesat platform Channels, Viewers, and HD.

    Remember Guys freesat are Not for Profit and only been running just over two years.with only a small number of staff .GREAT JOB All @ freesat

  7. Advert gets switched off as soon as that idiot says “haitch”. Does on-one care about English any more?

  8. #59 Admin

    In addition to the use of ‘haitch’, unless I missed it, there was no reference to freeesat enabled TVs, approximate cost of STBs or that freesat products are available now from most stores that sell TVs. i.e. all the information someone new to freesat would need. I don’t think VCCP have done freesat justice at all with this ad. Do you know if this is one of a series or is it just this single ad that will be repeated?

  9. Why are the hard-of-hearing being excluded from this campaign? It is noticeable that subtitles disappear as soon as the FreeSat ad comes on. It is clearly targeted at the haitch generation!

  10. @52 Neil
    I think the annual rise in $ky subs is more than 2.5% so I don’t think the VAT rise in January will have much if any effect. What will have an effect will be mortgage interest rates rising to more normal levels. Many people are paying a fraction of what they paid before the bank meltdown and celebrated the fact by getting $ky or upgrading their package. Also some people will be upgrading simply to get the 3D channel which is only available to subscribers on the top package including HD.
    Another $ky sly move to make people pay more.

  11. @58 Mark
    25% of the population born since 1982 say ‘haitch’ according to Wikipedia. That’s a lot of people. Perhaps Freesat (who must have approved the advertisment) is targeting the younger generation knowing that the other 75% would understand.

  12. @ Richard Crichton 62
    I gather that the Sky subs go up from 1 October. Will they absorb the VAT increase in January? If not it will be a double wammy on subscribers as there will be loads of other products and services which will be charging more thanks to the VAT increase.

    As it is clear few people will be getting pay rises which come anywhere near the rate of inflation and the squeeze on the public sector leading to massive unemployment Sky could find subscribers leaving or reducing their packages.

  13. @64 Kevin Ver1
    Will Sky absorb the VAT rise? No way. They are not going to subsidise the govenment by doing that IMHO. It would reduce their profits and that’s all they think about. Whatever they do it will be sly as they are very good at manipulating things to gain an advantage over the competition.
    Sky subscribers leaving their packages ( aren’t they tied into a contract so can’t leave?) because of a financial squeeze are just going to watch the free channels on their Sky boxes or downgrade to a basic package as it’s cheaper than getting a Freesat box. No incentive for them to get Freesat is there really?

  14. If you can afford £51 a month an extra £1.27 isn’t going to make people leave Sky and join Freesat. If you loose your income you would cancel and just watch the free channels.

  15. I am always amazed at the high density of dishes in areas where people are most likely to be affected by job losses and mass lay-offs. This dates from the pre-Freesat era. Sport and movies seem to be their staple diet – and they don’t come cheap from $ky.

    Of course %ky won’t absorb the VAT rise – they will want everyone to know that it is the ConDems putting the price up.

  16. #63 – Richard Crichton

    “25% of the population born since 1982 say ‘haitch’ according to Wikipedia” Wikipedia’s main claim to fame is being wrong! If they’re right on this one it is a further indictment of the literacy of modern school teachers – or the bloody-mindedness of modern students.

  17. @ Mark 58

    Does on-one care about English any more?

    Should that not read, Does NO-ONE care about English any more?

  18. 66 If you can afford £51 a month an extra £1.27 isn’t going to make people leave Sky and join Freesat. If you loose your income you would cancel and just watch the free channels.

    Except Sky are considering dropping their free channels after DSO to beef up their 3D channels on the EPG. (£64 pound for one 3D channel that’s not that great)

  19. Mediaman: Have you a source for this? I’ve not heard that one myself. When you say ‘free’ channels I guess your referring to Sky3 and Sky News then as they are the only Sky owned channels FTA?

    Tony (67): Yes, I agree people will just watch the free channels but they’ll soon realised they have non-functional PVR’s (Sky+) which Sky happily disable! Then they’ll think about Freesat, at least that’s the idea I guess!

  20. @ Richard Crichton #65
    I have to agree with your observation that if you have a Sky box you can downgrade to the free services (once you are out of contract), however many homes do have multiple TVs and I believe it is there that Freesat could bite into the Sky market.

    By the way do you have to pay the £10 HD sub to watch BBC HD or ITV 1 HD on the Sky platform?

  21. @Kevin Ver1

    No, they are free on Sky, but obviously you’d need a Sky+HD box which means paying a premium essentially for a hard drive you cannot use unless you subscribe.

  22. 71# I have no press release just talk going around SKY from people I know work there. SKY need space on the EPG for 3D and their main interests are Pay and Crippling freeview and free tv in general. So free tv will be the first to go. Many of the smaller channels on SKY are not even getting renewed contracts (unless you count the babe stations) and many have gone completely.

  23. I doubt Sky would remove Sky News, even if it was the only FTA channel left! It’s Murdoch’s political mouthpiece, look how much Sky Sports News dropped in ratings since going behind a paywall!

    If Sky don’t want FTA channels then leave them to FREEsat!! Sky’s EPG is strictly regulated though and they cannot say who and what goes where.

  24. “What do we do here again” ????
    Having watched this for the second time thanks to the link above, I find it odd that freesat could/would employ a person to work in space who has no idea why they are there.
    I can only presume there was an accident and he now suffers from short term memory loss, as the wording would indicate this is not the first time he has asked this question.

  25. I’ve seen the advert a couple of times on the ITV digital channels. It is better than the last advertising campaign.

  26. I’ll have to keep an eye out! Had a close look during ’71 Degrees’ on ITV1 tonight but didn’t see anything.

  27. It was on twice on Mill before 71, getting boring now needs some Aliens to turn up and ask some questions. Then cut to the Aliens buying Freesat in a shop. 🙂

  28. hey mods, why not post the comments I’ve made about your pathetic campaign’s casual racism? OR, even better, make an ad that slags off a chinese person or an indian, no…because you wouldn’t get away with it, would you?

  29. @funny

    The reason being that you raised a concern about the ad being rasist which would stir up conversations that ultimately end up in arguments, something we don’t want on this site.

    If you had provided a genuine email address, you would have received an explanation of the reason why.

    Incidently, we are an unofficial news site, we are not Freesat, nor VCCP, we don’t have any adverts nor did we produce it, although a trip to outer space would be cool. If you feel the advert is racist? then we’d recommend you contact Freesat or VCCP themselves.

    Any discussions about racism following this will not be published.

  30. 81 – Matt – Maybe they are showing it earlier on then, I’ll have to watch out between 8pm and 9pm this evening as I’ve still not seen the full ad. On their facebook page they have mentioned the 30 second variant which should be hitting the screens soon too and possibly has a different slant to it than the 60 second one.

  31. When are we going to get a cookery programme, I’m sure this would appeal to lots of customers.

  32. Valerie, I take it you mean a Cookery Channel, as there have been quite a few cookery programs on across the channels.

    The ad was on ITV 4 last night so they are not sticking to just ITV 1 and the big TV shows then.

  33. Saw it twice on ITV1 last night between 2000 and 2100.

    Valarie: Check out Food Network, channels 405 and 406 (+1), it’s a whole channel dedicated to food and cookery and has proved very popular in the UK since it’s launch.

  34. after paying £31 a month for the same old programs on sky .it was time to get a freesat box …i am well happy i have a 50″ plasma and a bush sd box the picture is good . do miss itv hd on sky .but that box as gone ..all people do is moan moan if your not happy with hd programs on freesat then sell your box and get back to sky and waste your money …times are hard now enjoy what your given …thanks freesat keep up the good work ..

  35. @81 I hope the aliens don’t visit Currys or they are liable to end up with a Sky subscription instead of a Freesat box 🙂

  36. @88 You should have got an HD box, if you have a large screen you will really notice the improved quality.

  37. There are a large number of people who were correctly taught that the name of the letter H is pronounced aitch and not HAITCH. Pedants like me want to throw something at the television set when this advert pops up with boring regularity. Was it a mistake or a deliberate attempt to reach a particular audience? The mute button is such a blessing!

  38. It was how they were taught in School using phonetics. The idea was to stop them dropping their H before words like hospital. E.G. ospital instead of hospital.

  39. I thought it was an English regional thing, along with dialect. The south seems to favour “aitch”, whilst the north prefers “haitch”. I’ve just noticed that my spell checker rejects “haitch” so, clearly, I have a southern spell checker!

  40. I had Freesat+ for 10 months and it was only ever BBC HD and ITV in HD (and Luxe TV in non-freesat mode). I got fed up waiting for more HD content so sold my box. Freesat is a good idea but unless someone pulls there finger out and gets more HD choice on the platform it will fall by the wayside. The last straw for me was ITV launching ITV2 etc in HD and Freesat not getting these channels. Bye Bye Freesat. Hello more HD.

  41. Rob @94 Thanks for giving It ago and helping boost Freesat sales.

    I personally think it’s more like “Hello more upscaled SD & bye bye money” (and bye bye time having to watch it all)
    Anyone know when BBC One HD is coming on line ?

  42. #94 – Rob

    I agree with Alan. Gearing up to do everything in HD costs broadcasters a bomb. They are businesses and have to cover their costs and try to make profits. This usually means becoming part of a subscription service – and giving exclusive rights to the likes of $ky or Virgin. If you fancy a plethora of HD channels, pay $ky or Virgin.

    It costs channels £30K per year to get a Freesat ERG entry. They will only do that when they are free from restrictive contracts elsewhere and feel that they will see a good return on their £30K. There is not much Freesat can do about that.

    Why did you sell your box? You’re bound to have lost money on the deal and HD boxes make the most of SD signals. Are you now watching Freeview or $ky?

  43. Had a wander round my local Currys this afternoon. The Freesat stuff is still in a dark neglected corner where it is easy to miss. The $ky display was well lit and cheerful, and stood out much better than Freesat.

    I know retailers are on good commission to sell $ky, but what’s the point of this expensive Freesat TV advertising campaign if it’s not going to be backed up by the retailers? How many punters will go into the shop knowing that what they want is SD Freesat and end up being brainwashed into $ky+ HD?

    Sorry guys if I appear to have dragged this back on topic.

  44. Almost blew a gasket when that idiot said, “haitch”. Either he didn’t go to school, or he doesn’t read. Check out a dictionary. When I complained to Freesat, the excuse was that a lot of people say, “haitch” in the UK. Let’s run with that, shall we? If people say it, then it’s OK. A lot of people in the UK nowadays say, “isn’t it?” when they mean, “aren’t you?/aren’t I?/shall we” etc, so we should use that as a norm too.
    Of course, if ‘haitch’ is acceptable, then one must use other Irishisms (that’s where it’s from). OK, Freesat, we await “orr” instead of “arr”. Of course, in my part of the world, most people say, “jai” (to rhyme with “pie”) instead of “jay”, so let’s have that too. Oh, yes. You could also tell the “actor” in the advert that “satellite” has two “ts” in it, not two glottal stops, but I expect that’s all right, because people say it. Ever heard of the Tower of Babel? Why do you think we have standards? It’s so that we can continue to understand one another. If I hadn’t told you about “jai”, for example, how many of you would have known what I was writing about? Exactly. None.

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