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Business case studies No 210 - 09.03.2018

On February 8 and 9, around 150 of the media industry’s rising stars in Britain gathered in the Blackwood Forest in Hampshire to attend the Big TV Festival and rediscover the health of TV together with broadcasters, commissioners, directors, creative heads and analysts.

For the first time ever, Channel 4, ITV and Sky joined forces to launch the Big TV Festival, an unprecedented collaboration between the broadcasters. Together with Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, they launched this unique TV event to inspire advertising’s new generation of brand builders, in the context of an increasingly complex digital ecosystem dominated by tech giants.

Why host the Big TV Festival?

The idea of jointly organising the festival came after a series of focus groups, organised by Thinkbox, to understand the needs of a young generation of planners. The group discussions provided various insights on the perceptions young agency planners have with regards to television and their opinions on issues such as reach, brand safety, technological innovations made by broadcasters and more.

Through a winning combination of education, inspiration and entertainment, the broadcasters sought to enlighten the rising stars from media agencies on the effectiveness of television. They reiterated not only the safety of the medium, but also highlighted the technological innovations happening within the TV space with advancements such as addressable TV.

The decision for the broadcasters to stand together and hold the Festival also came at a time when there is so much increased competition for attention and investment in the advertising landscape. It is vital that broadcasters work together to make the case for the unique power of TV and TV advertising. This is a phenomenon which egta is observing worldwide with organisations joining forces (e.g. the latest German Screenforce Day) in most European countries.


A sharing of ideas

The two-day event showcased a diverse agenda with forward-thinking speakers, built around 3 categories: content, audiences and brands. The attending guests had the opportunity to discover the real people behind the magic of television and to take a peek into the heart of the biggest entertainment shows on television during numerous talks from producers and actors.

The lid was lifted on the effectiveness and creativity of television during several sessions as the industry’s effectiveness gurus, the UK’s top creative directors and advertisers took the stage to provide insights on advertising from every angle. As an industry that never stops innovating, the event wrapped up with leading Futurists on AI and the future of business. In a final session, the Managing Directors shared their take on where the advertising industry is heading, but also to be challenged by the audience with difficult questions on the future of TV. The full agenda of the event can be found here.

Next steps

This festival aimed to promote the power and effectiveness of TV and to be a starting point of much more collaboration for the broadcasters as an industry. Outside of the event, the three broadcasters will also be collaborating alongside Thinkbox on creative partnerships such as Channel 4 and ITV’s first-ever joint brand campaign for the Alzheimer's Society recently.

Rumour has it the Big TV Festival will be an annual event – so keep an eye out for it in 2019!



» Festival website (click here)
» Agenda festival (click here)


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