On the 16th February, the BBC moved BBC Three online only. This was a hugely significant moment in the BBC’s history; it’s the only time a national TV broadcaster has ever moved a linear broadcast channel to online-only. It’s also a precursor to a new way of operating for the BBC. As Danny Cohen, former Director of Television, said: ““BBC Three will be the spearhead for a new age of digital change for the BBC”. This isn’t the story of a TV channel dying; it’s the story of a revolutionary new service for young people being born. BBC Three has just become ‘Too Big For TV’.
The insight that we received gave us a great platform for communication. Through the new BBC Three service we have the ability to fill those moments of boredom, wherever they are, however they’re connected, however much time they have and whatever they’re interested in.
From the 16th February, through highly granular targeting, our media plan will seek out young people wherever they are likely to have time on their hands and in need of entertainment or information.
For example, we promoted BBC Three content to people who are on Snapchat via Wi-Fi from 7-11pm, because we knew this is when teens are often at home with their family but not in charge of the remote.
We also merged the physical and digital worlds to distribute content through an innovative use of new technology. Through our ‘18 Hubs’ division, we sourced a new tech start-up called SyncSpot, who have developed a new technology that allows content to be delivered within a tightly specified geographical area.
By connecting SyncSpot’s technology with 6-sheet posters at bus stops, shopping malls and colleges around the country, we delivered BBC Three content to mobile devices specifically to areas where we know young people will be hanging around with time on their hands and will actively be searching for something to fill the time.
By placing BBC Three in this context, we will create truly meaningful connections that give the new service a genuine purpose in young people’s lives.
Our challenge was to use this new service launch as an opportunity to connect with young people across Britain, generating excitement and interaction with BBC Three like never before.
Through our extensive research, we found that young people are occupied, but restless. The fact that they’re always connected means they’re never doing nothing, but equally they’re never satisfied either. As one 16 year-old told us: “I scroll down my phone for a couple of seconds. If I don’t like the look I’ll keep scrolling”.
Quant research told us that 16-24s are simultaneously the most connected generation and the age group who most often say they’re bored.