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  • These annual awards, run in association with Campaign and MediaWeek, will be held on Thursday 26th June at London’s Sketch recognise and celebrate brilliant uses of TV and showcase a selection of truly inspiring work. This year is set to be no exception. The shortlist includes impressive work from agencies such as Manning Gottlieb OMD, Havas Media, Carat, PHD and Drum and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. A stellar line up of judges has been recruited to decide the final cut next month including Elizabeth Fagan of Boots, Pippa Glucklich of Starcom MediaVest, Leo Rayman of Grey London and Richard Morris of Vizeum. You can get the full shortlist right here.
  • Evolving, reacting and pioneering: how are the TV companies and platform owners preparing for the future? Where are the broadcasters, Freeview, Freesat, YouTube and Sky heading? This set of short films guide us through some key audience insights and technologies in the company of those helping to shape the industry. From the role of channel brands, guides and recommendations to opportunities around connectivity and across platforms, there is plenty here to get you thinking.
  • Guinness was the worthy winner of the first Thinkboxes of 2014 with its epic ‘Sapeurs’ commercial. The brand has an enviable reputation for creative and filmic TV advertising and this work is one of its best yet. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was the triumphant agency once again with the epic ad that shows men working hard at their day jobs then washing off the day’s grime and donning flamboyant, elegant outfits for a night out. As Stephen O’Kelly, Guinness marketing director for Western Europe at Diageo says: “At its core, the Sapeurs’ story is one of dignity and self-expression. We wanted to capture the story of men whose integrity and character shine through despite the challenges they face. For the Sapeurs, fine clothes stand for peace, integrity and honour.” In second place was Land Rover’s “Grey and pleasant” ad by RKCR/Y&R, and in third spot was Wieden & Kennedy’s “The ride” execution for Three.
  • Danny Brooke-Taylor, co-founder of Lucky Generals has applied his creative brain to all sorts of famous brands, from PlayStation, Adidas and Waitrose to Virgin and the Department of Health. He was Creative Director on the multi-award winning “Go on Lad” TV ad for Hovis, and was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011 for his Children’s Television series called ‘Green Santa’. Danny’s picked three really compelling commercials for his top choices, and has some revealing tales to tell about his experience with one of the featured brands and about some of the folk who made them. You can get the inside story right here.
  • Our most recent event saw delegates pack the Soho Hotel to immerse themselves in a world of TV technology. If you weren't able to come along, or fancy revisiting the bits that caught your eye, you can do that on very own catch-up service. Here you'll find the very latest, detailed numbers on TV viewing, devices and distribution; some inspiring examples of brands currently making the most of opportunities made possible by TV tech; how audiences find their way to content and how that could change. You'll also hear from advertisers and agencies about what they want from TV's future.
  • Here you can download a PDF of ‘A year in TV 2013’, Thinkbox’s review of what was an incredible year for TV. From the key numbers on viewing and advertising investment to creative, programming and planning highlights, this handy document is packed full of facts, figures and opinion, all of which we hope you find inspiring and useful. Please feel free to pass it on, if you do.

Discover the power of TV advertising

There are all sorts of reasons why television advertising is so brilliant at creating success for brands and businesses both in the short-term and the long-term. Here are the top ten, plus supporting evidence and links.


  1. TV is the best profit generator
  2. TV has unbeatable scale and reach
  3. We’re watching more TV than a decade ago
  4. TV is the most talked about medium both on and offline
  5. All TV ads are response ads
  6. TV is the new point of sale medium
  7. TV is the dominant youth medium
  8. TV is THE emotional medium and emotional campaigns are more effective
  9. TV is the catalyst for other media
  10. TV builds brand fame

For all the evidence click here.


Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms – broadcast, on-demand and interactive. It works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV, who together represent over 90% of commercial TV advertising revenue through their owned and partner TV channels.  Associate Members are RTL Group, Virgin Media, London Live, Norway’s SBS Discovery and Australia’s ThinkTV. Discovery Channel UK, UTV and STV also give direct financial support.

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  • Channel 4 and Lime Pictures have teamed up with O2 to create a series of ground-breaking contextual, narrative TV adverts to promote Load & Go, the cash card for young people from O2 Money. In between the Hollyoaks drama, viewers can catch up with the latest comings and goings at the Load & Go shop and watch the drama unfold daily with (Hollyoaks fan) Matt and Sam in their very own bite-size retail rom-com. This series of twenty TV ads has been tailored to complement the ongoing storylines from Hollyoaks; an excellent piece of spot innovation and a clever way to create a strong connection between the O2 brand and Hollyoaks fans. You can see how it looks in the break, and find out more, right here.
  • Here you can download a PDF of ‘A year in TV 2013’, Thinkbox’s review of what was an incredible year for TV. From the key numbers on viewing and advertising investment to creative, programming and planning highlights, this handy document is packed full of facts, figures and opinion, all of which we hope you find inspiring and useful. Please feel free to pass it on, if you do.
  • Over the past few years we've been out and about with cameras and lights, filming award-winning brand stories from the IPA Effectiveness Awards, the Thinkbox TV planning Awards and elsewhere. These bite-size documentaries are a rare chance to hear from some of the advertisers and agencies responsible for these inspiring and effective campaigns. Recent additions to our ‘case studies on film' gallery include Audi, PG Tips, Tesco, Orange and Tobacco Control. Here are some quick links for you; they’re well worth a look.
  • This film looks at PG Tips marketing communications from its launch to the present day and features contributions from Paul Feldwick, Consultant; Nigel Jones, UK Group Chairman and Chief Executive, Publicis: Les Binet, European Director, DDB Matrix and Dylan Williams, Partner & Head of Strategy, Mother, amongst others. It explores DDB’s Grand Prix winning paper from the 1990 IPA Effectiveness Awards; which has been voted by past and present Convenors of Judges as one of the very best case studies in the IPA Databank. The brand’s enduring success story is bought up to date by Mother, who tell us about the thinking behind their current Al & Monkey campaign. If you want to find out more about added value; brand resilience; commanding a price premium; the value of consistency in both share of voice and creativity, then this film is well worth a look. And of course, it’s packed with classic ads too.
  • This film tells the story of Audi's advertising from 1981 – when Audi became the first piece of business that BBH won – to 2007, a period in which an overhauled communications strategy delivered a payback of £7.50 for every £1 spent alongside creating the UK's fastest growing prestige car brand. Contributors on film include Peter Duffy, Head of Marketing, Audi UK, Sir John Hegarty, Worldwide Creative Director, BBH and Fiona Walford, Director, Mediacom. The original case study at the heart of this film has been voted by past conveners as one of the very best case studies from 30 years of the IPA Effectiveness Awards. If you work in the automotive sector, or would just like to explore the link between continuity, creativity and effectiveness, then this is well worth a look. "Vorsprung durch Technik", as they say in Germany.
  • This research, commissioned by Thinkbox and the IPA, and undertaken by independent marketing consultant Peter Field, analysed the correlation between campaigns' performance across a wide range of the worlds' most respected creative awards determined by The Gunn Report, and their performance in hard business terms recorded in the IPA Effectiveness Awards Databank. Updated in 2011, the analysis now covers 435 campaigns over a sixteen year period between 1994 and 2010. It revealed a direct correlation between strong advertising creativity and business success, and that high levels of creativity make advertising campaigns some 12 times more efficient at increasing a brand’s market share. Here you can find out about the project’s background, read the management summary and download the IPA’s full report.
  • Product placement (recognised by the logo PP) is when a brand works with editorial and production partners to place their product or service into the fabric of TV shows. This could be a product that is used (like a mobile phone or a cash point machine), is part of the set (like washing powder on a supermarket shelf) or appears as a poster. Product placement has been on our screens for some years, appearing within acquired programming from overseas or as legitimate prop provision – a natural part of making TV programmes. Since February 2011, certain programmes have also been able to contain paid for product placement as long as they comply with Ofcom’s rules. Since then, advertisers have taken advantage of this opportunity to get their brands woven into the editorial of TV shows in order to get closer to their viewers and some gratifying results have been achieved. The majority of product placement deals so far have been linked to a sponsorship or advertiser funded programme. Here, you can find out more about this fresh way of communicating your brand .
  • This section is a treasure trove of brilliant things said by brilliant people from our industry with lots of new material and an updated search function. You can jump to a category by using the drop down menu, select quotes from a particular industry legend, pop a key word into the search box or simply have a poke around at your leisure.
  • The case studies section of the Thinkbox website is one of our most visited and valued online resources. There’s lots of good stuff there, but you can’t have too much of a good thing. So, if you’ve worked on an inspiring or effective campaign that you’d like to see featured, we’d love to hear from you. Here you can get the low down on the information you need to provide, how we would go about researching and writing up your case study, and also who to talk to about making it happen.
  • Payback 3, an independent study commissioned from Ebiquity by Thinkbox, is an econometric analysis of 3,000 ad campaigns across nine advertising sectors between 2006 and 2011. It compared, on a like-for-like basis, the sales and profit impact during the last five years of five forms of advertising: TV, radio, press, online static display and outdoor. Amongst the findings, the research showed that TV advertising is 2.5 times more effective at creating sales uplift per equivalent exposure than the next best performing medium. Payback 3 joined a growing body of work proving the effectiveness of TV and you can read all about it here.
  • A new study carried out for Thinkbox by COG Research and designed to help the advertising community understand the context of multi-screening (watching TV and simultaneously using an internet-connected device such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet). Using a combination of research techniques which examined over 700 hours of TV viewing gathered from filming the living rooms of 23 multi-screening households in the UK, psycho-physiological analysis, digital ethnography and online research among 2,000 people with TV and online access. Here you can read about the research context, the methodology and key findings from the report which reveals how TV and TV advertising benefits from second screens.
  • The Thinkbox app, which has been specifically designed for the iPad, puts the world of TV advertising at your fingertips. It features all the facts, the figures, and the thinking in TV advertising, including the latest data, inspiring case studies, TV ad galleries and the best research into how and why TV advertising is so effective. The app is free and has been designed by leading digital and mobile specialists, ORM, and is for anyone involved or interested in TV advertising – from advertisers, media planners and buyers, to creative agencies, auditors and journalists. You can find out more here, watch a film about how it works and click through to the App Store to download it.
  • Brands want to be talked about; they want to become household names. But what does word of mouth do and, crucially, where does it come from? At this March 2013 event, Thinkbox unveiled a brand new econometric study by Data2Decisions, which analysed the intricate Paid, Owned & Earned relationship for the first time. We also heard from leading thinkers in modern marketing, including Mark Earls, celebrated planner and author of “Herd: how to change mass behaviour by harnessing our true nature”; Ed Keller, CEO of award-winning word of mouth specialists Keller Fay Group; and Bruce Daisley, Director of Twitter in the UK. Here, you can catch up with all the action by watching the event on-demand.
  • CASE STUDY: John West was struggling: with volume sales down and margins being squeezed, they knew they had to do something different to stand out and turn the brand around. Tapping into the increasing desire of consumers to know where their food comes from, they created 'Can Tracker'. This innovative idea, combined with a funny and memorable TV ad, helped turn their fortunes around, propelling John West to brand leader position. Here you can find out how they did it.
  • Thinkbox’s ‘Screenlife: TV in Demand’ research was launched in July 2013 at BAFTA. Here you can catch up with all the action from the event by watching our handy on-demand record of the event. The study, commissioned from Flamingo and Tapestry examines the broad range of motivations that lie behind why we watch linear TV and VOD and, increasingly, how we watch it. We also heard plenty of good stuff about the emerging advertising opportunities around VOD from the experts at the TV companies. It’s well worth a look.
  • CASE STUDY:Suzuki Cars UK has been around for years, but lived in the shadow of their more famous motorbike cousins. In addition, a lack of new car launches had meant that the market share and consideration of their cars was low. They urgently needed to get onto the radar of car buyers. This case study shows how a simple brand insight provided the inspiration for an integrated campaign with TV at the heart of it. It also demonstrates how a campaign forced reappraisal of the Suzuki brand, increased affinity and subsequently transformed Suzuki Cars UK into the 2nd fastest growing car brand in the UK. To see how they did it click here
  • Yorkshire Tea’s story of Little Urn is a brilliant example of the effective integration of social and broadcast TV, one that illustrates the relationship between fan-dom and customer acquisition. This effectiveness award-winning film from Thinkbox and the IPA explores the development and impact of Yorkshire Tea’s rescue mission to the tea desert that is America. Featuring David Bain, Zoe Crowther and Jamie Inman from Beattie McGuinness Bungay; with effectiveness insights from Nick Southgate and Marie Oldham; and Little Urn himself, it’s an entertaining story of pluck and heroism in the face of hard water. So put the kettle on, make yourself a ‘proper brew’ and enjoy the ride: it’s well worth a look.
  • BLOG: Here's a fact: in the UK, for every minute spent with YouTube, the average person spends nearly an hour watching terrestrial TV. To put it another way: if terrestrial TV was a human being of average height, YouTube would be about the length of the world's smallest mammal, the Etruscan shrew. I say this not to denigrate YouTube or Etruscan shrews; I genuinely think both are incredible. I say it to try and add some perspective to a debate about YouTube and TV that is getting out of hand, fuelled by unsubstantiated claims and misunderstanding. Here's another fact: in all the major studies into how and why advertising works, TV advertising emerges time and again as the most effective form, pound for pound – whether that is in terms of...
  • Sally Abbott, global marketing director at Weetabix, reveals the three ad campaigns she admires but had nothing to do with and talks about her instinctive reaction to creative work. Sally joined Weetabix in October 2008 as marketing director to help build breakfast cereal brands including Weetabix and Alpen. Sally’s role expanded its reach globally earlier this year following the acquisition of Weetabix by the Chinese Food Group Bright. So grab a coffee, munch on a biscuit and enjoy Sally’s 3 terrific ads.
  • Sky AdSmart, Sky’s new advertising service that tailors what is shown in TV ad breaks according to a household’s profile and location, has launched today with more than 40 brands on board. Brand including Tesco, Royal Bank of Scotland, Littlewoods, American Airlines and Audi are all on board.


  • Here’s the top line of where to go and what you can find and do when you get there …
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  • Click here to see the latest figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB). Commercial TV continued its dominance of viewing in February, accounting for 63% of total linear TV viewing, although it did decrease on last year, partly due to the Winter Olympics on the BBC...