The opportunity for success would be a new approach to using video to deliver the right piece of awesome BBC Earth content to the right people in the right context and the right emotional state. This would allow Vizeum to connect with maximum relevance and minimum waste by constantly showcasing BBC Earth’s very product.
Two insights around how people select content helped drive the agency's strategy: Desirable content finds its way to connected consumers through their social streams. In a world where digitisation and connected devices have made content ubiquitous and limitless, the process of discovery has been flipped on its head: people no longer actively look for content in a relevant set of established content brands – rather, they let relevant content find them in their social streams. The opportunity here lies in offering multiple pieces of content, and making them so compelling that they would spread.
Context and its associated emotional state determines the type of content people desire. Planners increasingly realise the power of context for determining choices: where you are and what you do determines what you want. The power of this insight is the realisation that everybody can be targeted with multiple pieces of relevant content if it can correctly identify the context they are in, and gear the content towards the associated emotional need. And that is of course entirely possible in the data-driven, connected modern media ecosystem.
These two insights established the cornerstones of Vizeum's strategy.
Content proliferation: create 162 videos to deliver the right piece of content in the right context for the right emotional state. This new approach replaced the traditional single big trailer with which a channel would have been launched in the broadcast world. By creating no fewer than 162 'mini moments of emotion', it could cover the complete range of the audience’s emotional needs, and thus connect with them with greater relevance.
And through the agency's 'ECCE' (emotional content connection engine) it could deliver these 'mini-moments of emotion' in three specific contexts and emotional states where the target was most receptive to them: when they wanted to escape, when they wanted to connect, and when they wanted to learn and discover.
It first created three custom audiences around these contexts and states by using 21 different data categories of behavioral and contextual data like social and dark social data, location, content behaviour, emotional data, digital usage, site usage etc.
And then it developed the 'ECCE' to deliver the videos across platforms to the right people. The engine was able to identify different data APIs when a consumer was in one of the three emotional states. This then allowed the agency to deliver one of the 162 pieces of content which were tagged based on those same three emotional states.
And it learned and became smarter as it iterated: the content engine used predictive modelling that looked at both actions and non-actions to model the behaviour of the audience in relation to the viewing and sharing of key content. This meant that the more data the engine was able to attribute to each individual user ID, the finer it could adjust how it defined the three emotional states.
Here’s how Vizeum leveraged the data to target the three key contexts and emotional states:
The engine identified e.g. when the target was in discovery-mode in information-heavy contexts like searching for and viewing longer form content on YouTube, they were much more likely to engage with and share science and knowledge content like content from BBC’s Brian Cox explaining the Universe.
ECCE showed that when the target were commuting they were more likely to be in an emotional state of escape, looking to distract their mind from the thought of heading to work with wildlife content.
When the target was moving across their social media universe and thus wanting to connect with other people, they would be receptive to content of some of the larger-than-life personalities of BBC Earth like (David Attenborough sharing a moment with his favourite creature or the stars of Life Below Zero battling life in Alaska) in order to serve that need for personal connection.
The ECCE thus enabled it to connect with the right target in the right context with the right content on any day in 162 different ways, greatly enhancing its chances of breaking through the aforementioned clutter and connecting with maximum relevance.
It reached the campaign goal swimmingly after three months only: BBC Earth became the #1 factual channel in Asia (Kantar Media)– mission accomplished!
Viewing stats revealed that this new approach to video, replacing the single big launch trailer with content proliferation, really succeeded in delivering the right pieces of content to the right people in the right contexts:
- The 162 mini-moments of emotion were viewed no fewer than 5.8 million times – that’s on average 36k views per video
- Outperformed by 300% Facebook’s and Google’s benchmarks for engagement rates, shareablity of videos and average views per video
- The videos achieved an average CTR of 6.3%, and 827,457 social clicks
- The most engaging video achieved an extraordinary 27% engagement rate.