The University of East London (UEL) were suffering from a lack of differentiation amongst London universities and relatively poor brand recognition, particularly outside of their immediate local area.
Rather than being a targeted recruitment campaign aimed at prospective students, we needed a broader reach brand campaign, that expressed UEL’s character and vision to a diverse and broad audience, particularly to youth audiences who hadn’t considered UEL previously.
During our planning, we gave careful consideration to media that could help reposition UEL as the leading careers university in the sector. We needed media that had the ability to convey a story and brand messages in emotive and engaging environments, to really connect with our range of target audiences. We wanted to maximise the opportunities of video formats as much as possible, to make best use of UEL’s newly developed brand video, to inspire audiences and engage with them.
Ultimately, the media we chose had to achieve the overall main objective – to increase brand awareness and improve brand recognition for The University of East London.
To fulfil the objectives of raising awareness and conveying the overarching brand messages, online video was the perfect format. With online video now accounting for over 80% of all consumer internet traffic, the medium is the perfect method to connect and engage with audiences in a highly targeted manner. The combination of harnessing data and creativity can ensure the right users are reached in the right context and at scale.
Consumers’ video consumption habits are changing and moving online. UK adults spend almost 1 hour a day watching digital videos (source: eMarketer) and these figures increase even further amongst younger audience segments.
We also knew that amongst younger audiences, especially 16-34 demographics, more traditional broadcast viewing is being replaced by subscription video and other online video platforms. Video content is as popular as ever, it’s the platform and device of viewing that has evolved.
Therefore, to achieve UEL’s objectives, we recommended partnering with one of the largest established online video networks, the gaming platform Twitch.
Twitch is a live streaming video platform that allows gamers to stream their games for others to watch while they play. First introduced in June of 2011, Twitch.tv focuses on music broadcasts, e-sports competition broadcasts, creative content and video game playthroughs. Content on the site can be viewed either live or via video-on-demand.
Twitch has huge reach, with 6.6million monthly unique visitors, of which 54% are aged 16-19 in the UK. So it’s perfect for reaching a youth audience.
Users on Twitch also highly over-index as students.
Using Twitch as our main video channel, also ensured we’d achieve high viewability in brand safe environments. In the era of ad blocking, content that is voluntarily engaged with and actively created by an audience gave us a fantastic platform to showcase UEL’s brand values. The UK engagement rates prove how popular the site is, even in comparison to the likes of YouTube and Facebook.
Twitch gave us the best platform to run in premium video inventory at scale, in brand safe and fully viewable formats.
The campaign run for five months, serving impressions geo-targeted to Greater London with an upweight towards UEL’s core East London area. Running a combination of film lengths with a 15-second and 30-second execution, we used two of Twitch’s most effective video formats:
- Cross Screen: to run across all devices including desktop, mobile, tablet and games consoles.
- SureStream: a new video technology that seamlessly weaves ads directly into live broadcasts, even viewable to users with ad-blockers installed.
The results were fantastic. From a large reach of over 300,000 served impressions, we achieved over 270,000 completed views of the videos, resulting in an overall view-through-rate (VTR) of 89%. Compared to Twitch’s benchmark of 80% VTR, this was a highly impressive result and showed how well the channel, formats and targeting worked together to reach a relevant and engaged audience.
Even amongst the longer length 30-second videos, the average 85% VTR surpassed all pre-campaign expectations.
Although the main objective of the campaign was achieved with the video view results, the cross-screen devices also generated direct traffic from the videos through to UEL’s website, resulting in 590 clicks. This was a great additional benefit of the campaign, being able to drive immediate consideration and interest, resulting in direct response to UEL.
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