Pinterest pinned their hopes on TV


Key Points                                                                  

  • Pinterest wanted to take their brand to the next level
  • They took dialogue from their audience’s favourite TV programmes and turned it into Pinterest recommendations, live in the very next ad break
  • As a result, spontaneous awareness grew by 242%

The Challenge

Pinterest is a visual discovery app that helps people find ideas for their life including dinner recipes, home and style inspiration, and more. It offers a catalogue of more than 100 billion ideas that inspires people to ‘go out and do that thing’. It is a treasure trove of everyday ideas – from how to entertain your kids on a rainy day, to how to wear Breton stripes, to what to do with your one pot salad that evening.

Pinterest launched in 2010 and had been growing in popularity. However, in 2016, they wanted to take the brand to the next level and increase comprehension that Pinterest is a source for everyday ideas from what to cook for dinner to how to create your own personal style. Non Pinners had heard about Pinterest but might have perceived it as a social network or a destination for only big ideas.. The challenge was to accelerate Pinterest’s growth in the UK by driving spontaneous awareness of the brand and unlocking its potential, making it THE place to go for every-day, useful ideas.

The TV Solution

Mediacom, Pinterest’s media agency, advised them that TV was the best place to advertise if they wanted to drive brand perception shifts and top of mind awareness. However, their budget was limited and so they opted for an exclusive deal with Channel 4 in order to make their money work harder. They chose Channel 4 because it had the right audience profile for the brand and also the scale to reach enough people to make an impact. In addition, Channel 4 had a strong raft of programming that would allow Pinterest to make the association with everyday ideas in three topic areas where Pinterest has strong content - food, fashion and parenting.

Pinterest wanted to take full advantage of the ideal programme environment and so they created innovative contextual spots that were immediately relevant to the programming content that had just gone before. They turned dialogue from these programmes into everyday food, fashion and parenting ideas, pinned live in the ad break to the shows. This meant that the ideas were directly relevant to the content the audience was watching and the programmes they love.

The Plan

The key target audience for Pinterest were 18 to 45 year old women who were interested in food, fashion or family and so Mediacom analysed BARB data to decide which programmes would resonate most with these three groups. The partnership with Channel 4 allowed them to have early access to the upcoming programme schedules so they were able to identify in advance the most appropriate selection. Programmes included:

  • Jamie’s SuperFood and Hensley & Hemsley for food
  • Made in Chelsea and First Dates for fashion
  • The Secret Life of Four Year Olds and GoggleSprogs for parenting

Not only was the subject matter just right, but these were also the shows that the target audience talk about online eg. Made in Chelsea generates 110,000 tweets per episode. Multi-screening was already happening and so a simple search for Pinterest after being inspired by relevant content would be an easy step for their audience to take.

Some ads were dialogue specific where a line of dialogue from the show was turned into an everyday idea in the ad. For example, Toff from made In Chelsea says to her friend “Jess I told you we were meeting my friends today and this is your outfit”. In the first break after this scene, there was a live Pinterest search showing a range of inspirational Pins showing Chelsea-ready “meeting friends outfits”. Some ads were genre specific and so the ads were tailored to the genre of the programme – food, fashion or parenting. For example, in First Dates, there was an ad showing how to dress for a date

Channel 4 has food, fashion and parenting programmes throughout the year and so Mediacom were able to deliver a strong always on presence of between 70 and 100 16-44 women TVRs per week. This meant that Pinterest could cut through on a regular basis to stimulate everyday inspiration.

The plan was carried over to broadcaster VOD. They ran the dialogue specific ads in the same programmes as on linear and also created bespoke content packages around food, fashion and family for the genre specific ads.

In order to capitalise on the interest generated by these contextual spots, they ran Search activity around key words from the ads.


  • They reached 74.2% coverage at an average frequency of 8.6 with their always on presence from May to December
  • After only one month of activity, spontaneous awareness had doubled and by the end of the year it was at an all-time high – 242% higher than launch
  • Over the same period, ad awareness tripled
  • Significant movement with regards people agreeing to the statement – ‘Pinterest is great for useful everyday ideas’ – up 60%
  • Searches for the ideas in the ads increased on average by 75% at the time the content aired
  • Intent to download the Pinterest app increased by 132%
  • Campaign was shortlisted in TV Planning awards ‘Best Newcomer to TV’

MediaCom won our business on the strength of the strategy they developed – to reach our target audience and bring us front of mind, by making us part of UK ‘watercooler’ TV and moments. This approach allowed us to reach our target audience on mass and radically change their perception of how Pinterest is used. Reach and frequency of contextually relevant messages was key to establish Pinterest as a platform for everyday ideas. The partnership with Channel 4 sat at the heart of this approach. And the execution they developed working in partnership with our Stink creative allowed us to drive all of our most important brand metrics. As a platform that has grown out of word of mouth, advertising was brand new to us – but working with MediaCom gave us the confidence to go forward and importantly the proof points we needed.

Zoe Pearson, affiliation                                                                                                           ,


Sector: Lifestyle

Brand: Pinterest

Campaign objectives: Accelerate growth by driving spontaneous awareness

Target Audience: 18 to 44 women

Budget: Approx. £1.5m (Source: Nielsen)

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 16th May to 30th December 2016 on Channel 4, E4 and More 4

TV Usage: 10 second spots

Creative Agency: Stink

Media Agency:  Mediacom


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