Was it because they didn’t know they needed one? Was it because they increasingly accessed content via digital channels? Was it the cost that proved prohibitive? After years of running the same advertising we needed to come up with a completely new campaign. But what would students find compelling?
We went to student communities and opened up the discussion. And it was this two-way dialogue that helped shape a multi-channel communication that asked, ‘What’s a TV licence worth to you?’ We revealed the big idea with posters and online ads at the start of term. Students were confronted with weird and wonderful things they’d be prepared to pay handsomely for. A ride on a unicorn was deemed worth £394. Time travel £714. We had set up a heuristic where the £145.50 for a TV licence suddenly seemed remarkably good value. We also made the licence fee more accessible by communicating it as the equivalent of 40p a day.
Did this approach – grounded in behavioural economics – work? Yes. The campaign generated ROI of 6.5: 1 and a sales rate of 17.9% from students who need a TV Licence – an impressive response given that that the number of students in halls who fall into this category is shrinking.
And it didn’t end there; we actually changed how students view the TV Licence. Twice as many said that the TV Licence is value for money, and over 50% stated they didn’t mind paying for one in post campaign research.