Meet the finalists for Young TV Planner of the Year

Being a TV planner is a role which carries enormous responsibility for a brand’s success, demanding creativity, curiosity and collaboration in addition to the rigorous craft skills that TV planning has always required.

For the second year, we are recognising the future industry stars that are leading the way and flying the flag for TV through the Young TV Planner of the Year category of our TV Planning Awards.

It proved to be a very competitive category.

Here we chat to our four brilliant finalists.


What is the best thing you’ve watched this year?

Becky: Channel 4’s It’s A Sin – such an important story, told perfectly.

Chris: ‘It’s A Sin’ and I May Destroy You. Also, Pen15 on Sky Comedy is the funniest show I’ve seen in years.

Jasmin: Mare Of Easttown, Kate Winslet is phenomenal as ever and also Ted Lasso on Apple TV is amazingly written.

Sean: The Undoing on Sky Atlantic with Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman.

What do you watch as your guilty pleasure?

Becky: Married At First Sight Australia.

Chris: Countless Real Housewives and Below Deck.

Jasmin: Below Deck - I'm almost certain I know how to Captain a ship now…or at least be a great Chief Stew.

Sean: Selling Sunset!

Tell us about a TV campaign you worked on that you’re most proud of:

Becky: The McDonald’s Re-opening campaign. The pandemic forced the Golden Arches to be turned off for the first time in McDonald’s 66-year history, and it was a huge challenge to plan our way back in such a constantly changing and uncertain period. Along with the team at OMD UK, I worked closely with Analytic Partners (McDonald’s econometric agency) to establish when our media should be turned on and when we should go live with our national AV campaign – centralised around Leo Burnett’s Return of the Mac masterpiece. The campaign was one of McDonald’s most successful ever, with our TV ad achieving the highest ad awareness uplift of any UK brand in both June and July and winning YouGov’s Ad of the Month in both.

Chris: It would have to be Freeprints’ first foray into TV advertising. Taking them from a small test budget and watching them grow into a large and constant TV investor after seeing the effect TV can have on response and brand has been incredible. Growing them into a DRTV, Brand, Sponsorship and BVOD advertiser in the UK and EU has allowed enormous growth for our agency and given us some great wins as a result. Taking these learnings and launching new-to-TV advertisers has been a real full circle moment and incredibly satisfying to see people reap the fame and rewards of investing in TV.

Jasmin: Having been able to work on the M&S Fresh Market Update from the beginning of the concept 3 years ago has been amazing. It’s such a different approach to advertising that challenges some of the norms, such as ‘don’t have too many creatives’ and ‘1+ reach is the most important factor for success’. Being involved in a campaign that relies so heavily on the science behind the media, which I have been able to shape over that time and then see the campaign develop and expand over the last few years with great success has been brilliant.

Sean: I have had the privilege to work on some fantastic campaigns over the last 7 years but the launch and growth of Peloton in the UK has been something I have really enjoyed being involved with and seeing it go from a new market entrant to household name in just a few short years is truly satisfying.

How do you persuade a sceptical client about the benefits of TV?

Becky: TV has something for every client, no matter the budget, so it’s important to understand where the scepticism is coming from. We all know the power of watching ads on the big screen while on the sofa with your family but understanding the client’s business and campaign KPIs is crucial to determine the right approach and help them to navigate the complex AV landscape from the advertiser’s perspective. To do this, we lean on our bespoke agency tools which, coupled with wider industry research, help demonstrate that an AV approach will deliver on their objective.

Chris: The most important thing is to be transparent with clients and let them know that while TV can work for any business, there are methods of reducing initial risks, and instilling that trust is hugely important for growth. We know TV is the most trusted form of advertising for audiences - and we can show success stories, case studies and industry research - but nothing proves it quite like a client seeing how it effects their own business in real time. Starting small, minimising risk with regional or daypart specific airtime, in a cost-efficient month, is always a great way to get the ball rolling and let them see the dial move.

Jasmin: I always think good data is hard to argue with. We all have our preconception of audience viewing behaviours based on our own habits, but my go to route would be to find the right data to convince the client TV is the right place for them and their brand.

Sean: I would start by asking 'What's your favourite advert?', as more often than not, this will have been seen on TV. However, if the memorability factor and unrivalled mass reach does not go far enough for the specific campaign KPIs, then the benefits of direct uplift and concrete, trackable correlations between a TV spot and a surge in web traffic will usually provide clients with confidence to activate across this channel.

Tell us about an agency social initiative that has particularly resonated with you over the last year:

Becky: As an active member of our D&I team, we have an expanding relationship with Eastside Young Leaders Academy and a partnership to include Westside Academy. We’ve evolved our training, mentoring and hiring opportunities for this group – these young people are super inspiring and definitely the advertising execs of the future!

Chris: Mostly Media sponsor Bradford Town Youth FC – one of the largest youth organisations in Wiltshire. It reduces the high-cost barrier to entry for the kids and gives them an active environment to learn and gain vital teamwork skills. Also, being part of the Land of Independents last year was hugely important for us, to stand with the top 20 independent media agencies and put out a campaign directed at senior client decision makers to look beyond the big agencies and towards a more flexible approach to TV planning.

Jasmin: At Mindshare we have a very strong commitment to promoting Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion and as part of that we have a Women in Business board, which I am a proud member of. The board has many functions and goals, promoting and supporting the equality of women in the media industry and making the agency accountable for any gender pay gap. But more than just that ambitious goal, this group are there to educate and offer resources to support the agency on wider issues effecting women, whether that be Women’s Safety, Menopause or Period Poverty.

Sean: Earlier this year Essence was lucky enough to be involved with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation which was an initiative that I felt showed the best of the industry in supporting causes that aim to make a real difference in society.

What is the most exciting development in TV that people should keep an eye on?

Becky: The last year has brought with it rapid digitalisation for both business and consumer, and as such offers opportunities for 1st party data integration that we didn’t think possible for another few years. The broadcasters have been busy evolving their individual addressability offerings while it’s also exciting to see them working more collaboratively and present a more united front on measurement. The demise of the third-party cookie means that 1st party-data integrations in the AV space offer a solution to that digital headache and will help brands to get ahead.

Chris: Seeing businesses jump onto TV for the first time during the last year when pricing was at a record low, and now seeing those same businesses shake up the market after seeing the rewards that TV can bring. With the growth of expanded addressable (AdSmart, Planet V) allowing more points of entry for clients of all sizes and more intuitive and campaign friendly measurement tools (CFlight) across all AV, it’s proof there is something for any business in the all-encompassing landscape of TV advertising.

Jasmin: Something I’m personally really excited to see is the development of shoppable TV in the UK, whereby at the viewers request an ecommerce link is sent directly to your mobile phone from an advert you’ve been played. A few suppliers have launched this in the US already, but it's yet to reach across the pond. We have already seen there is an appetite for this form of shopping whether it be ordering your groceries on smart speakers or shopping the look on Instagram. So it will be amazing to see this tech develop in the UK advertising market, as we already know the strength of TV on consumer purchase behaviour, being able to directly influence and track that is just the next step in pushing TV ROI even higher.

Sean: Measurement and platform. As the TV space continues to evolve, emerging technologies allow us to get closer to understanding our viewer on a 1-1 level than ever before. Where are how we watch continues to diversify with established industry names, as well as new market players, looking to keep up with user demands across their TV consumption.

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