BBC Earth – Blue Planet II

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Foto: Lisa Labinjoh & Joe Platko ©BBC

When Blue Planet II launched in 2017, our task was to create awareness both for the show and the niche channel BBC Earth, through PR & event. We organised an exclusive sneak preview for selected guests, influencers and journalists.

Background

16 years after Blue Planet had revolutionised the industry, it was time for the sequel. Although Blue Planet II was among the best productions within nature documentary, we had a few challenges to overcome in Norway. One of them was that the series would broadcast on BBC Earth in Norway, a niche channel that few had heard of and knew they had in their TV package. Furthermore, the outcome of the campaign would rely almost solely on PR and word-of-mouth.

After four years of filming, 125 different expeditions in 39 countries, 6,000 hours of underwater diving, over 1,000 hours in submarines, and over 1,500 days at sea, the sequel was ready. After the major work that was put into the production, the BBC wanted to have a major launch in Norway. Even though the sequel was at least as impressive as the original series, there were one big challenge – the series was to be screened at the smaller niche channel BBC Earth. A channel very few Norwegians knew they had.

Objectives

Even though very few Norwegians had heard about BBC Earth, most Norwegian had access to the channel via their TV subscription. The objectives were therefore split in two:

1. Create enthusiasm and expectations for the series

2. Establish higher knowledge and preference for the channel

Implementation

To successfully draw viewers to a small niche channel, far down on the channel list, it wasn’t enough to focus only on the series, we had to make sure the channel was promoted as well.

As part of the strategy, we made editorial collaborations with some of Norway’s largest online media outlets, sharing our content (text, images, video), including channel and screening information. Furthermore, we set up interviews with one of the producers and made sure to pinpoint the screening information to all journalists we were in contact with.

To capture the attention of key opinion leaders, first we had to show them the series. Therefore, we invited them to an extravagant pre-screening at a renowned venue in Oslo, were among other thing we served blue cocktails. Invitations were sent out to selected guests, influencers, and journalists. We invited scientists, politicians and opinion leaders, as well as influencers and celebrities with a stated engagement for nature to the exclusive premiere event.

Results

The exclusive pre-screening was a big success amongst the 140 attending guests. A survey that was done after the event showed that 95 percent of the guests would want to follow the series because of the event. 97 percent said that they had recommended the series to friends and family.

We also had media reach of 15 million and an average audience share that increased by 364% compared to the channel’s slot average.

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