Freesat, Satellite TV Made Easy – New Advertising Campaign

Freesat, Satellite TV Made Easy - New Advertising CampaignFreesat, the free satellite TV service, today launched its new advertising campaign: “Freesat. Satellite TV made easy.”

Set to launch during I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here on Monday 21st November, the 30 second commercial runs until January 2012.

Viewers will see the return of the Freesat 1 satellite space station orbiting earth and “Team Freesat” who featured in the brand’s last TV campaign earlier this year.

Team Freesat on Freesat1

In the new commercial, Stanley, Stu and Izzy have the unwelcome surprise of being visited by a spaceship-to-spaceship salesman, Lance. Lance’s complicated and confusing sales pitch is the antithesis of Freesat’s straightforward offer: brilliant TV for a one-off payment with no monthly bills. 

Lance the salesman

The past year has seen Freesat announce some key milestones. The free TV service reached 2 million sales earlier than expected, announced ITV Player into its VOD line-up and launched several new channels onto the platform including two new HD channels (Channel 4 HD and NHK World HD). Freesat’s next generation products are also due to launch in early 2012. 

Will Abbott, Marketing and Communications Director at Freesat said:

We’ve brought Team Freesat back together on Freesat1 to create an entertaining campaign with a simple message: that in the face of increasing complexity and choice Freesat offers customers an easy way to enjoy brilliant TV, catch-free.

This is the second TV campaign created for Freesat by VCCP, which has handled the Freesat account for nearly two years. The TV commercial was directed by Paul King, whose credits include Bafta-nominated The Mighty Boosh and comedy series Come Fly With Me. Lance is played by Rich Fulcher, who is best known for his roles, including Bob Fossil, in The Mighty Boosh.

Freesat will be supporting the new commercial with digital and social media activity including VOD pre-roll ads and advertorial media partnerships.

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99 thoughts on “Freesat, Satellite TV Made Easy – New Advertising Campaign”

  1. @admin: We think that’s what the contract says because there was a redacted bullet point about why they chose July as their estimated launch date in the Ofcom application for the Freeview HD slot, and things being redacted mean they are secret, and secret things are usually specifics about budget (which I believe were part of another partially-redacted bullet point) or contracts. So yeah, it’s based heavily on supposition, but I believe it’s the most likely reason.

  2. Admin/Muzer: yep, I think RTL, who owned them at the time, were basically given it on a plate from BSkyB. If I remember correctly, the Ofcom press release came out saying C5’s been declined launch on Freeview HD and Sky’s came through a few days later about the deal they’ve struck.

    In honesty, I think for us Freesatters C5 not getting on Freeview HD and BBC1HD’s launch has done us all a great favour as otherwise we’d have not got BBC1HD until next Summer, consequently the BBC’s spend on HD content has reflected the fact they’ve got two HD channels too.

  3. Is indeed, trying to get clarification as to whether this is purely financial, or they are replacing with one of their other channels. If it is purely financial it seems a rash decision to remove from Freesat but not other platforms.

  4. If they are keeping the Sky stream all they are saving is the FS epg cost. I wonder if the bean counters have realised this?

  5. Maybe Absolute Classic Rock is being replaced in favour of their Absolute 60’s and Absolute 70’s stations (one or both of??).

    They seem to like wasting money putting these services on copious local DAB platforms but seem unable to afford the £7k to provide a national coverage via an established satellite platform with guaranteed audience!

    I like this bit:
    “What is a bit rate we hear you cry? Simply put – DAB Digital Radio broadcasts as data which is decoded by your radio. You shouldn’t notice too much difference as the majority of DAB radios are the mono, one-speaker ‘kitchen’ type and we’re now using equipment for better sound quality with lower bitrates”.

    So, in a nutshell: It sounds cr*p but fear not, you won’t notice it as your radio is probably one of those cheap ones which will mask the low bitrates as our service will deliver audio equivalent to AM quality!

    ……and they say DAB is the future!!

  6. I agree, poor advert.

    Freeview adverts quickly and clearly tell you what Freeview is and its advantages.

    The Freesat advert spends 1/2 the time telling you about some super pen. OK its humour, but that’s no good when 90% of the population don’t have a clue what Freesat is.

    Advert should be about:

    1. Free tv service from the BBC / ITV via a satellite dish

    2. Hundreds of channels with lots of room for future expansion

    3. 5 HD channels with more to come

    4. Exclusive channels not available on Freeview

    And if the BBC are really separating Freeview and Freesat out as I heard rumour of on another forum, then as they could then compete as platforms in their own right with the viewer having the choice:

    5. Maximum Picture quality (obviously here they would need to stop reducing Freesat quality down to Freeview levels of compression to deliver that promise)

    (I would in return expect Freeview to advertise the “no need for a dish” angle).

  7. @59 Neil
    Absolute whatever should be renamed Absolute boredom . It’s a so called Borg station as free radio fans would say. No loss to Freesat IMHO apart from the 7K as its on FTA sat at the press of a button on my Manhattan HD-S. All Freesat boxes should do that not just the Manhattans. It is the only logical thIng to have if you want more than just what’s on the FS EPG. My Technisat is still relegated to the Cinema room but with no feed as yet.

  8. Freesat should fully incorporate FTA Sat not keep it hidden away in a complicated menu. Then they might get some more customers than the rather poor 2 million.
    Freeview HD is up to 4 million already and that’s only half the platrorm that Freesat is. Can’t help feeling that FS has missed a trick somewhere along the way. Oh good 5HD is coming to Freeview but it may or may not come to Freesat is what the box salesmen are saying so it’s no wonder things at Freesat are pretty much stagnant. We urgently need more positive news not all these ifs and buts. Everything about Freesat is so slooooooooow. Still no ITV player on non Humax still no STV HD or ITV HD in Scotland (yes I know the workarounds but they shouldn’t be nessisary at this stage in the game).
    Get your finger out chaps/chaplets or fade away. BTW the ad is rather silly and non informative. I would advise FS to change agencies before it’s too late.

  9. @Tony Hales

    That’s interesting, hadn’t realised until now but do you have an alter-ego, because it seems when you are being positive, you post as Richard Crichton, and when negative, as Tony Hales. Very odd!

    Freesat can’t fully incorporate FTA otherwise they’d be no need to have an official EPG and therefore no need for any broadcasters to pay for inclusion, and no platform could exist without this. Lets not forget, Freesat is a non-profit organising too.

    Over 2 million sales in just 3.5 years is mighty impressive given the economy etc, Freeview didn’t achieve this in the same time scale and I suspect nor did Sky.

  10. The reason Freeview HD has sold so many is that every largeish TV comes with Freeview HD. That’s it. I bet a reasonably large proportion of those people don’t actually get Freeview HD yet, and those that do, many probably don’t watch the HD channels (through ignorance or laziness).

    And, of course, most people have aerials; relatively few have dishes.

  11. @admin
    It must be my split personality. I wondered would long it would take for you to rumble me 🙂 . I’m a cynic by nature but hey it’s only telly and what we need are more good programmes on the channels we have at present. I live in Scotland and the lack of STV HD and ITV HD nark me hence the Manhattan with my Technisat as a door stop.
    I think the Manhattan software is superb and other manufactures should take note. Any sign of the Technisat EPG fix yet?

  12. @Muzer
    Yes point taken if you call over 10 million dishes relatively few. That is still a lot of dish people watching $ly and not FS despite the state of the economy and how many people still only have a HD ready telly not one with a digi tuner.

  13. An enjoyable “good cop, bad cop” routine, though still a little odd 😉 There are a million things Freesat could improve, but most of them are outside their control. Freesat have made a sterling effort in the first 3 and a bit years, they just need to ensure it continues by getting the message out there about who they are and what they do, rather than these quirky ads.

    Not sure if TechniSat have released the software yet, though not seen many reports of problems for a while. Maybe plug your doorstop back in and see.

  14. @Tony Hales

    Bare in mind though that many households had terrestrial aerials already installed and going digital effectively forced them down the Freeview route if they wanted a cost effective upgrade to keep receiving their channels. Many with satellite dishes are from Sky setups and those cancelling their subscriptions are usually doing so because of the cost, so sticking with the Sky box for the free channels rather than paying out for a Freesat box.

  15. @64 One of the pains in watching HD channels such as BBC One HD & ITV 1 HD is when they go regional. Often ending up with London regional TV instead of Northern.

    That’s why I tend to watch ITV 1 HD via the blue button, and was hoping that BBC 1 HD would do a similar routine.

  16. @admin
    What I meant by fully incorporate the FTA channels was tag then on the end of the FS EPG with no programme listings, just the now and next, then the channels would still have a reason to join Freesat.Not that much different from pressing one button to get the FTA list as I do on the Manhattan. Failing that all the box makers should adoppt the Manhattan one button press design of software.
    My only reson for using the Tony Hales name was sometimes I think of more to post and I didn’t want two posts in a row by myself as I was slagged off for doing that be someone on here. Didn’t realist TH was negative and RC positive until you pointed it out and I’m not sure that is the case anyway.

  17. @Tony Hales (Richard, Pete, John, Ben, Adam, David….. ;))

    Understand what you mean about including their basic channel information on the end of the EPG, but ask yourself this, if you were a broadcaster and available FTA (but not on an official EPG) would paying up to be included be more and less likely if your suggestion was the case? The answer will be less likely, as their channel would be readily available on a list of channels, rather than through a search, so this way would risk less broadcasters buying a specific slot and programme data.

    The way it is currently is complex (with the exception of the Manhattan) but there has to be some key advantages to broadcasters paying an annual fee for inclusion, and by taking away one of them advantages, the benefits are reduced.

  18. I feel that a lot of retailers are not playing their part in promoting Freesat. A lot of the large electrical retailers for instance advertise the Samsung D8000 & D7000 idtvs as having freeview HD built-in, but fail to mention that they also have a Freesat HD receiver. To find any mention of freesat you have to plough through the specification details, it’s not apparent from the initial ad.
    I have owned the UE55D8000 for a few months and would highly recommend this tv to anybody thinking of purchasing a freesat product. The picture quality is great in both SD and HD. 3D blu-ray movies on this tv are also stunning!
    The Samsung Freesat tv’s are also Listed as ( coming soon ) for ITV player.

  19. Freesat seems to be the UK’s best kept secret much to $ly’s delight. All the more reason for a clear well thought out advertising campaign which sadly they don’t have at the moment.

  20. Freesat could have a few more channels but overall it’s doing very well and with over 2m sales in over 3yrs I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

    I know loads of people who buy new TV’s and don’t ever watch through the in-built DVB-T tuner. Saying Freeview HD is therefore doing ‘better’ as it’s got over 4m sales isn’t conclusive to the actual amount of people who are necessarily using it. I do agree though and like admin says, that whilst virtually every house has a terrestrial antenna on the rooftop then it’s the cheapest path of migration from analogue to digital.

  21. That advert is a complete waste of money, the last one wasn’t that good either. If that came on the TV I would mute it, change the channel or put the EPG on.

  22. Considering people keep buying rubbish Freeview boxes and companies keep launching their channels on Freeview its good to see ANY advert Freesat as it offers a far superior reception and picture quality, only the range of channels let it down at the moment.

    I have Freeview and Freesat and my TV is connected to a 48 element high gain digital TV aerial on the roof using the best quality (copper shielded foam cored) coaxial cable you can buy and my picture constanty breaks up most days, virtually every program I record or watch shows blockyness somewhere, which is appauling as I’m only 20 miles from the transmitter. If Freesat had the channels I liked on Freeview (Dave, Challenge, 5*, 5 USA, Quest, etc.) then I would buy a Freesat PVR as well.

    Until more people come to their senses and invest in Freesat box instead of a Freeview box then the amount of Freesat channels will be slow to increase, so BUY A FREESAT BOX this Christmas folks!

  23. @Dylan

    There is only one detectable ad on this website which is the google adsense, all others are banners/images so won’t have caused a problem. Strange that you had to disable it completely to view!?!?

  24. admin: Probably blindly blocks the word “advertising” in URLs. I personal think it’s immoral using ad blockers, akin to video piracy – only times I use one is when an ad is so bad it’s causing me active annoyance (eg a noisy or particularly intrusive flash ad) or obscuring text on the page.

  25. On the other hand, I love how the two Google ads are for BT Vision and Sky… they presumably paid quite a bit for the Freesat keyword 😉

  26. Yeah, I don’t particular like how it brings up all sorts. I’ll need to look at whether it brings in any revenue as might just get rid! Don’t want it promoting Sky on here do I 😀

  27. Just seen a advert on channel 5+1 for Charlie Boorman Extreme Frontiers which had a sponserd by Freesat logo on it. Good to see Freesat advertising in the lead up to christmas.

  28. Keep up the good work admin , it’s a very informative and well run site. It’s always the first site I look at when I switch on my laptop. I’d be lost without it.

  29. Indeed – if you missed it, I would make a blogpost about the two changes yesterday (Wedding TV changing to weddingtv for some reason, or perhaps the other way around – someone said it on DS anyway 😉 – and Channel 4 HD moving to the 1N transponder in the Freesat EPG)

  30. For some reason the official freesat website drops out on my smartphone everytime it just likes this website:)

  31. @Admin 79
    Muzer is right it just blocks the word advertising in URLs, as the rest of your site works fine.
    I only use an Ad Block to help web pages load faster as my internet can be a bit slow at times and I personally don’t want to waste time downloading annoying video adverts.

  32. upthePOSH (interesting handle!!): when does that Charlie Boorman prog on C5 start?? Maybe they’ve done a bit of a contra-deal with C5 as part of their wider sister channel launch on the platform? Sponsoring programmes is a very good idea, I also think they should consider a targeted radio ad campaign (cheaper than TV and I think will raise brand awareness).

  33. @89 Dylan: Ah, fair enough – I used to do it for the same reason, but since getting a much better internet connection, I now let them load so I can help support the website owners. And as I said, if there’s a specific ad that’s very annoying or intrusive, I can block it individually (with Opera’s Block Content feature).

  34. I see Freeview have a new advert out that totally eclipses the Freesat one and does everything the Freesat advert should do. ie shows the channel line up.

    For those of you that haven’t seen it, it includes a guy going around collection balloons each of which has the name of a channel on it that’s on the EPG, all accompanied to a popular song.

    In fact it’s Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFf8dvelMEw

    Freesat’s advertisers just got owned! (my opinion)

    Now why couldn’t Freesat have done this?

  35. @Neil 74

    Just because someone has a satellite dish on their house does not mean they use it. My next door neighbour switched from Sky to Freeview to save paying a sub. In addition a uncle has purchased a house with two satellite dishes but has opted for Freeview.

    I personally went for Freesat as it was the only means to watch HD programs and installing an aerial is technically difficult on my house. I used to be able to receive a handful of channels on Freeview but I think they must have reduced the power level on my local transmitter and my aerial is in the loft. I installed my own satellite dish and picture quality is very good.

  36. @94 I assume your neighbour still uses the Sky box as a FTA box (FSFS), in addition to the Freeview box.

    I had Sky, and cancelled subscription, and used by box as a FSFS box – however a few channels weren’t available FTA,so purchased a Freeview box in order to watch the additional channels.

    I left everything behind when I moved house, as I was mainly using Freeview.

    A few years later, I was tempted to go to Freesat HD, as they had announced BBC iplayer & in future another On Demand service.

    Explaing my needs to my local Department store, I was advised that to get the best out of Freesat HD, a HD TV was needed, and many was on show with either Freeview intergrated or with Freesat HD (and Freeview).

    A good seller was the LG LF7700, followed by Panasonic.

    My New house had a Sat Dish attached when I bought it, but the owner didn’t have a TV (must have been from a previous owner), and said there was no TV aerial (the aerial was in the loft, but not installed !).

    When I purchased my Freesat TV, I was told that a dish was required, and when I said there was one already installed – said that would do, even though I said it must be at least 15 years old !

    The dish was for analogue pointing towards 19e and had to arrange for a new dish to be installed.

    New dish installed (altough with just a single LNB), but is good enough for my Freesat TV. Freeview is running via my loft Aerial (no problems).

    Altough let down by either the Manufacturer/Freesat with regards to catch up services, I still prefer to use Freesat in favour of Freeview.

    Will be using Freeview even less, with 5 USA and 5* arriving on Freesat soon.
    (Tend just to watch Freeview via by HDD Recorder rather than live Freeview TV, so never really go into Freeview mode much on the TV)

  37. @ Shaun 94

    My neighbour has a TV with a Freeview receiver and as such only uses his Sky box when a relation brings his Sky Viewing Card so they can watch sport.

    I bought a second hand 60 cm dish but I purchased a new quad LNB. At the moment I only use one of the outputs but some time in the future intend to purchase a S2 card for my PC and a Freesat PVR.

  38. What a very poor ad, it dosn’t make it clear what the channel line up is or who the target market is? etc School kids could have made a better ad this ad will soon be forgotten. Lets have something that stands out from the rest.

  39. Agree, advert spends more time on the bloke with the pen, with very little about Freesat.
    I did catch something about ‘catchup’. Perhaps this should be referred to Advertising Standards because there will be a lot of disappointed people who find strictlt limited catchup available. Most makes of TV/set top boxes allow access to BBC player and then some weird mixture of their own Internet site. Sometimes you get one of the other broadcaster’s catchup sites but there is absolutely no standard provision. We need all the five main catch up sites as a given, Then they can add their own particular preferences.
    The whol thing’s a bit of a mess at the moment, reminds you of the Betamax/VHS and Blueray/HDDVD standards wars.

  40. I dont have Freesat yet, I remember the advert but I had no idea what it was or what it was about.

    I have just watched it again on here and I still have no idea what it is about!

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