Freeview: Pay-TV is a rip-off

Freeview, the UK’s biggest digital television provider, has revealed a new marketing campaign that it says will prompt consumers to question whether they are paying more than they need to watch their favourite TV programmes.


Freeview claims its research has shown that whilst paying a seemingly small monthly fee for hundreds of TV channels as part of a bundle deal may seem appealing, the reality is that the vast majority of people are paying for channels they are unlikely to watch. Households are spending, on average, £199.32 (€247) a year on unwatched pay TV channels and 75% of their viewing hours are spent watching free-to-air channelsi.


The new advert, set to air later this week on February 22nd points out that Freeview provides over 95 per cent of the most-watched programmes in the UK, completely free from subscriptions.


Continuing the theme from earlier campaigns, red and white helium balloons are used to represent the depth of programming available on Freeview including Masterchef and The Apprentice as well as Big Brother and The Cube. During the ad, the red balloons break off to symbolise the large proportion of the UK’s most watched programmes.


The 30-second film, created by Leo Burnett, follows the balloons on their journey around a city – from high-rise flats and cafes to the parks and family homes of the outskirts. Finally the balloons reach their destination at a house in the suburbs. As soon as they have floated through an open window, we hear a TV being flicked on from inside and see the welcoming glow of the screen behind the curtains of the house.


Guy North, Marketing Communications Director at Freeview, said: “As household budgets are increasingly stretched, we’re highlighting the alternative to pay TV. Our latest campaign encourages consumers to question whether an expensive subscription package is really right for them if most of the content they watch is free-to-air.


“With the added benefit of recording programmes with Freeview+ and access to four HD channels with Freeview HD, Freeview is the smart choice for consumers who still want quality content at their fingertips but without the bill each month.”


Alongside TV advertising, the Freeview website will host a new interactive experience where consumers can explore the TV landscape and decide for themselves which services really suit their viewing preferences.


The campaign will be extended to digital and radio spots as well as retail point of sale literature. In-store product demonstrations in partnership with Toshiba will take place across 31 John Lewis and Curry’s stores.

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