Sky Media, the advertising sales arm of Sky, is launching its AdSmart SME support scheme, the SME100. The £1 million (€1.14m) fund will provide 100 businesses with TV advertising campaigns via AdSmart to support them during the difficult times.
SME100 is open to SMEs that have been running for at least one year in the UK with up to 50 full time employees. Businesses can nominate themselves or be put forward by their own customers. Sky Media is encouraging people to highlight the businesses in their local area that need support during this time and who would benefit from accessing the power of TV advertising at a moment when TV consumption has significantly increased.
Sky Media wants to reward the businesses that are demonstrating true resolve and ingenuity. Businesses of all types are adapting to the current climate but can further thrive with the extra exposure TV can deliver. From local garden centres delivering flowers and materials for the first time, to yoga and dance studios keeping people fit with new online classes, the businesses that are selected to be part of the SME100 will be representative of the whole of the UK.
“Businesses up and down the country are facing some of the hardest trading conditions in recent memory,” commented David Sanderson, Director of AdSmart Local & Development at Sky Media. “We want to help our nation’s SMEs where possible by giving access to highly relevant audiences via AdSmart totally for free. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, making up 99.9 per cent of all business in the UK. We know that although there are economic slowdowns, people are still spending money and we want to help brands connect to these audiences. This initiative is about giving businesses confidence in advertising and their ability to succeed no matter the situation.”
Creative execution of the ads will be supported by local creative agencies and through an exclusive partnership with Shutterstock. Shutterstock will assist the 100 businesses by providing complimentary access to high-quality images, video and music to aid the creative process and effectively tell their story with engaging content. In doing so, the SME100 and Shutterstock will enable local creative agencies to produce broadcast-ready, 30 second ads remotely and cost-effectively and will bring further investment into local and smaller creative industries.
The campaigns will be delivered via AdSmart from Sky, the addressable TV platform, that easily enables brands to advertise on TV by focusing on the audiences that matter to them. This means a brand can reach households by postcode area, within a designated distance of their store, or by household make-up or lifestyle attributes that best suit their service. In only targeting audiences that matter to the business, brands can be assured that their advertising will be relevant, accessible and drive business results.
“This Government is fully committed to supporting SMEs through this challenging time, with £12.3 billion in grants and 100 per cent government guaranteed loans of up to £50,000 through our Bounce Back Loans scheme,” confirmed Small Business Minister, Paul Scully. “However, we all have a role to play in the national response to Covid-19, so I welcome Sky’s announcement today, releasing a £1 million AdSmart fund to provide SMEs with free TV advertising campaigns.”
Sky says that AdSmart has transformed advertising for smaller and niche businesses. Previously TV was perceived to be too broad and expensive, but the award-winning targeting capabilities of AdSmart changes this. Since launching in 2014, it has been used by 2,380 brands for more than 28,000 campaigns to provide engaging, brand safe and relevant TV campaigns. With 75 per cent of the brands using the technology totally new to TV, it’s allowing businesses to utilise the brand-safe and trusted power of TV for the first. In Sky Media’s recent research report, AdSmart: Five Years & Forward, it was revealed that addressable TV campaigns increase purchase intent by 7 per cent overall, and as much as 20 per cent for new to TV advertisers who benefit from the exposure and credibility TV delivers. Local brands like Gasway and Richardson’s Garden Centre have seen significant business growth (35 per cent and 17 per cent uplift respectively) through their TV campaigns.