Virgin Media Deletes Live TV In Coronation Street Campaign


Innovation is a key area of consideration when it comes to reaching the top of a market, and while it will take a lot more than one advert to help them overcome UK pay-TV powerhouses Sky, Virgin Media are on the right track after starting a campaign which will at least catch the attention of many viewers.

coronation_street_titlecardThe unorthodox advertising campaign was scheduled to start yesterday with a Friday night episode of soap opera Coronation Street.

The ITV show ran as usual with its opening credits, but was promptly ‘cut’ to a black screen with a voice-over announcing the episode had been ‘deleted’. However, the voice then promoted Virgin Media TiVo’s ‘undelete’ function, claiming the show is back and ready to watch, and how the feature it can ‘rescue’ anything wiped off the service’s hard drive by accident.

The ‘undelete’ feature is noted as being one which holds all items recently deleted (in a similar fashion to a computer’s ‘recycle bin’) enabling a ‘last chance’ to rescue shows before a permanent deletion.

The adverts, created by BBH and Fifty6, follow on from a ‘TV manipulation’ campaign last year in which numerous regular adverts started ‘buffering’ to promote Virgin Media broadband. Meanwhile, further commercial channel shows which will experience the ‘undelete’ function in the near future are Dancing on Ice (ITV) and One Born Every Minute (Channel 4).

Virgin Media’s ‘director of advertising and sponsorship’ Richard Larcombe stated of the surprise campaign the afternoon before it aired: “Our customers love how TiVo helps them watch their favourite telly and our incredible service has a whole host of impressive features that mean you never have to miss a moment – even if you accidentally delete it, TiVo can bring it back in a jiffy. This innovative campaign brings home the message that TiVo gives you amazing control over your TV and I’m delighted to launch another groundbreaking takeover from Virgin Media that will capture the imagination of viewers.”

While interrupting a show show as it begins rather than the traditional ‘ad break’ will most likely trigger anger rather than ‘imagination’, will the different and barely-legal method bring more customers to Virgin TiVo? A previous advert describing their ‘undelete’ feature can be seen below…

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