Identified as a “game changer” for the brand, Sky launched its largest marketing campaign to date to promote its latest product innovation, Sky Glass.
Sky Glass is the brand’s first television and is touted as the world’s first “streaming TV”. The device streams content entirely over the Internet, without a satellite dish or box, and is the first to be certified as a climate-neutral product.
However, the main purpose of the TV is to bring content from different streaming services together in one place, with shows from platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer being available along with Sky TV content via a unified interface.
Ofcom research earlier this year found that more people in the UK now subscribe to Netflix than pay TV combined, including Sky, BT and Virgin Media.
And while Kantar’s BrandZ analysis increased Sky’s brand value by 19% from 2020, Netflix increased 55% and YouTube 39%. Sky has been attributed less power and less growth potential than Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime. Revealed: The UK’s 75 Most Valuable Brands
But according to Sky TV Marketing Director Sunny Bhurji, Sky now sees online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon more as “partners” than as competitors.
“It’s not about Sky and Netflix and Amazon, but about the consumer and our customers,” he told Marketing Week. “We just want to make sure that our customers get the best content in the easiest and easiest way possible.
“Our partners have incredible content – why don’t we want to share it? But what we can do is make it a really incredible, immersive experience through Sky Glass. “
Bhurji adds that Sky Glass was designed with the needs of its customers in mind as the brand seeks to simplify the entertainment experience.
“People’s lives are incredibly complicated and we believe we need more, more, more. More apps, more technology. All of this comes with complexity, from the aesthetics and furnishings of your home to your daily experiences, ”he says.
Consumers spend a lot of time turning streaming apps on and off and looking for entertainment on the sofa, he adds. “The great thing about it is that we summarize all of the content and make it available to you.”
For example, if Sky had the first five seasons of the US sitcom Friends but Netflix had the last five, searching for Friends on Sky Glass would get all episodes from all platforms.
“But it’s also important that great TV finds you,” continues Bhurji. Sky Glass is therefore taking an active role in content curation by identifying and revealing which shows have been the most talked about, what has just started and what new series are coming soon.
“I think that’s what consumers want,” he says. “But the interesting thing is that people don’t know it’s a problem until they see the solution.”
We are essentially creating a category. You have the TV category and then the entertainment and content category – we’re the first to bring them together.
Sunny Bhurji, heaven
To find out what consumers need from their entertainment experience, Sky did a lot of “consumer proximity,” where the marketing team observes people and their interaction with the television.
Through direct discussions with consumers, the team then determined that value is a “really important” criterion for TV buyers. “It was almost a microphone drop moment,” says Bhurji, who defined the company’s pricing and sales strategy.
So customers will buy a Sky Glass TV with flexible payments, similar to a cell phone contract. For £ 39 a month they get a 43-inch TV and Sky Ultimate TV, which offers access to Sky and third-party content. Prices increase by £ 4 to £ 8 per month as the screen size increases.
Bhurji adds that Sky Glass is a “game changer” for the Sky brand, “because we really put the customer at the center of everything we do”.
Create magic with digital
The pay-TV company launches its television advertising campaign today (Oct. 8) with a three-month campaign that the brand claims will be the UK’s largest ever product launch in terms of marketing spend.
The Sky Glass campaign is managed internally by the Sky TV marketing team and is the result of a tailor-made “Brand Hub” – a collaboration between Sky Creative, the in-house advertising and creative function of Sky, venturethree and AKQA.
The campaign took around 18 months to develop, Bhurji estimates, and involved early-stage research and insights, followed by building the brand’s assets from scratch.
“We designed the product around the customer’s needs, so we wanted to make sure the marketing was doing the same,” he says.
With the slogan “Made of Magic” the Sky Glass campaign is expected to reach a record 99% of the UK adult population. The campaign was split into two “phases”: “The Spell” and “The Wizard”.
The first phase is to deliver 1.3 billion out of home impressions, 86% share of voice in the first three weeks, and the very first Times newspaper wrapper for a consumer brand. Digital media accounts for over 60% of spending, with Sky Glass being the first Sky product to be purchased on social media.
Both phases also include a TV advertising campaign, while the launch campaign includes a series of radio spots starring actress Helena Bonham Carter. BRIT Award winner Griff, who was named “Rising Star” in 2021, was also brought on board to create a tailor-made track for the campaign.
Our partners have incredible content – why shouldn’t we want to share it? But what we can do is make it a truly incredible, immersive experience through Sky Glass.
Sunny Bhurji, heaven
The subject of magic comes from a quote from science fiction author Arthur C Clarke, Bhurji claims: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.
He explains, “We really liked that because when we saw this product we saw the form and function of this fantastic TV that is integrated with this incredible content at this amazing price. It was pretty magical. “
Why is the campaign so focused on digital marketing? According to Bhurji, this is the fastest way to educate consumers about the product and allow them to discover more.
“We are essentially creating a category,” he says. “You have the TV category and then the entertainment and content category – we’re the first to bring them together.
“But people will still want to know, ‘Is this a good TV?’ They know we do amazing content and that we have incredible technical credentials – check out Sky Q – but there are always people out there who want to know for sure how good they are. “
In addition, however, the brand is also investing in an experience campaign to support the launch of Sky Glass, with an experience travel unit that will tour the UK starting Monday in Covent Garden, London. The device is designed as a house with interactive experience rooms in which consumers can see, for example, which color television they want.
In its high street shops, too, Sky will concentrate on offering an in-store experience. A total of 40 million people across the country will see or experience a Sky Glass television within a 20-minute drive, claims Bhurji.
“We want to make sure that we have a [huge] Marketing presence to make sure people understand TV first for the first three weeks and then we have the incredible opportunity to connect with consumers in an emotional way. “
However, Bhurji adds that Sky Glass is just the beginning for Sky as it embarks on a journey of further product development and new launches.
“This is the beginning of an incredible roadmap that is all centered on the consumer and makes their lives better,” he concludes.