2015 winner: BBC Worldwide, Brand Activation - case study

2015 winner: BBC, Activation

This is a story about an unlikely hero. In a world where superheroes come mostly dressed in lycra, shooting webs or wearing capes and speaking in husky voices, this is the story of a Doctor with a screwdriver. There are no iron suits for this superhero, just a well starched collar.

By focussing on the things they knew their audiences loved about their superhero, and creating a year of fan events to remember, BBC Worldwide celebrated the most profitable year in Doctor Who’s history, not just through hard sales, but through a global campaign.

How? By delivering a year of activity featuring a series of ‘firsts’ for Doctor Who (and a TV show), including brand partnerships, a global simulcast, global cinema screenings, live fan events, digital activations and effective amplification through PR, social & digital.

The overall objectives were to:

  • Make 2013 (the 50th Year of Doctor Who) the biggest revenue year in the brand’s history
  • Drive global awareness and engagement levels to an all-time high
  • Maintain momentum into 2014, proving the 50th wasn’t a one-off moment in the show’s history

The regional commercial objectives were to:

  • Re-energise the brand in the UK and Australia
  • Push further into the mainstream in US
  • Increase awareness of Doctor Who beyond the key markets of UK, US and Australia

During this period, global awareness was increased by 8%, up from an already high average of 60% in 15 key territories surveyed. Across the twelve months the campaign delivered PR exposure in excess of £35m. And year end results  were delivered for FY 2013/14 of 48% up on budget (the best financial performance ever for the brand) and FY 14/15 is on track to deliver in excess of 25% up on budget.

Not bad for a time travelling Doctor from the planet Gallifrey.


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(Please note: parts of this case study may have been redacted for confidentiality purposes.)