ITV Palooza 2023: broadcaster launches BE Studio for ad-funded programming

ITV launches creative studio for ad-funded programming
'Champions': first co-creation announced by ITV's Be Studio (Picture: ITV)

ITV has pledged to launch a full-service creative studio to deliver more ad-funded co-creations and encourage closer working between its commercial and creative divisions.

The UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster revealed a range of product and service updates, including two updates to its measurement offering — Addressable Lift and TV Auction Boost — at its annual Palooza upfronts this evening.

Co-creation of new formats

ITV unveiled the launch of BE Studio — a full-service creative studio to produce ad-funded entertainment.

BE Studio is meant to help brands build emotional connections with ITV’s audience through the co-creation of new formats.

The studio’s first production has already been recently announced. Champions, which goes behind the scenes of jump racing, has been created with Flutter Group and Racecourse Media Group.

Ad-funded entertainment has grown significantly, ITV said, citing shows that have featured advertiser co-creation such as Cooking with the Stars (M&S), DNA Journey (Ancestry), and John and Lisa Down-Under (Trailfinders).

In practice, ITV wants there to be greater integration between its commercial division (ITV Commercial) and it’s in-house advertising agency (ITV Creative). The broadcaster has pledged to “actively invest” in additional ad-funded entertainment and social media production as it aim to build on “integrated commercial partnerships” for programmes like Love Island and Big Brother.

The launch also means a new job title for Bhavit Chandrani, who is now direct of BE Studio (previously director, digital and creative partnerships).

Measuring brand lift: perception and web traffic

Also announced on stage at the Palooza, ITV unveiled two measurement product updates — Addressable Lift and TV Auction Boost — that are meant to give advertisers the ability to measure the business outcomes that TV advertising creates, including web traffic, sales and profit.

Addressable Lift is a pilot program of full-funnel measurement across brand lift, site lift and sales lift for campaigns at a household level.

Building on the the launch of ITV’s DataMatch product, which allows measurement of the impact of ITVX video-on-demand (VOD) campaigns on sales, Addressable Lift will also measure the lift those campaigns create on brand perception and web traffic.

Spoke, a menswear brand that has been backed by ITV since 2021, took part in the pilot, endorsed Addressable Lift, after running a pilot campaign (pictured, below).

Ben Farren, founder and CEO of Spoke, said: “I was sceptical of VOD and whether it could deliver sufficient incremental impact over linear to make investment worthwhile. However, the results of our pilot which showed the behavioural impact of our campaign, not just the impressions delivered, has given me the confidence to keep investing in the addressable targeting opportunities ITVX enables.”

Proving TV’s impact on search

Meanwhile, ITV also teased TV Auction Boost, a scientific study carried out with Omnicom Media Group and Percept into how broadcast advertising influences paid-search activity.

The study has analysed minute-by-minute data on hundreds of millions of pounds worth of activity across 25 advertisers spanning three years, 11 industries and over one billion search impressions.

ITV and OMG will reveal the results of the study next year, when there will be an “experimental phase” to give more rigorous proof of the relationship between TV and search.

The British Heart Foundation and Boots were announced as inaugural partners that took part in TV Auction Boost.

Kate Waters, ITV’s director of client strategy and planning, said: “As the media landscape has fragmented and become more complex and nuanced, so has the impact of TV.

“We need more innovative and sensitive ways to measure the full-funnel effect of TV and provide better proof that TV builds businesses not just brands.”

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