BBC Sounds has become increasingly popular at delivering well-loved audio downloads and streams for 5 years now. Amongst their content are radio broadcasts, podcasts and audio on demand. As they deliver a wide range of content, their typical audience varies, dependent on the specific content. However, one thing’s for sure, and that’s how popular podcasts have become. With over 19.1 million brits tuning in, there’s a huge market for them.
Similar to the BBC Sounds Obsessed With… Peaky Blinders series, this would also be a follow-along podcast of the third season of Killing Eve, hosted by Zing Tsjeng and Naomi Shimada. The aim was to stir interest and hype around the podcast. BBC Sounds were searching for a creative video agency to create week-by-week content which would be distributed alongside the release of show episodes, as well as to produce an engaging launch asset and three clip-based assets for posting on socials and BBC iPlayer pre-TX, during TX and post-TX, with the overarching goal to direct listeners to the following week, retaining engagement.
Here at Bearded Fellows, we love to take reigns on a project like this, whereby we’re trusted with ideation and creation, allowing our creative juices to flow and really get stuck in to the campaign! This is where we find we’re most successful, as we have more of a holistic view of the campaign and can align all elements of the project. The aim was to lure series 2 listeners in to create series-on-series growth, with some serious targets to hit. Naturally, this is an environment we love to work within!
The only part of the campaign that we were not involved with was signing the talent, Zing Tsjeng and Naomi Shimada. Therefore, the final result oozed Bearded Fellows creativity and expertise.
Appropriate representation of talent: The main challenge was making sure we represented the two talents well. It’s vital when in the planning stages to bear in mind their expertise, the talents in this campaign are not actors or performers, and we had to cater to that. A key first step was meeting them to understand who they are, but also create a campaign that represented Killing Eve at the same time, finding the ultimate balance. We ensured both Zing and and Naomi were comfortable with their roles and they were not required to overact or do anything out of their ordinary personalities; this was portrayed in the final campaign.
Last minute casting issues: An actor who was supposed to be with us on the day for a particular role had to drop out due to Covid, we were informed about an hour before the video shoot. Therefore, Samson, our Head of Video and Creative Director, had to wear both hats and take the roles of both director and actor. Was it tricky to manoeuvre around acting and directing? Absolutely. Did we smash it? We think yes, but take a look at the campaign to decide for yourself.
Of course, we had to initially familiarise ourselves with the show’s tone of voice, genre, plot lines, characters and so on. Once we’d mastered this, we started to plan and throw ideas back and forth until we were happy with our take on the launch asset. We decided to weave the key themes of the show within the creation of the launch asset to stay true to Killing Eve, appealing to our target audience, with a particular focus on creating potential meme moments.
We weren’t required to source a location for this campaign as BBC Sounds extended the booking of the set for the podcast – the outstanding Soho House Cinema – to film our launch asset. As a result, the aesthetic was consistent across both the visual podcast and the launch video which worked great.
Once we’d filmed the initial launch video, we had to focus on the week-on-week footage. This required clear communication and liaison with the production company, Chalk & Blade. We had to meticulously refer to timecoded notes to guide strong edits which maintained interest. These were then sent to the BBC for feedback or tweaks with strict turnaround times before finally being delivered, branded and subtitled according to BBC guidelines, including logos and fonts.
The result saw a creative focussed around using a behind-the-scenes, 4th wall break, Cinéma vérité and humour, with a call back and running gag vibe; which quite literally went viral upon launch.
They took a chance on us here at Bearded Fellows, but they were thrilled with the outcome and it was received insanely well by the demographic. Elements of the campaign became a meme and went viral – so our hard work certainly delivered our initial ideas exactly how we’d envisioned. See what the hype was about and take a look for yourself.
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