BBC Sounds has been providing the general public with audio downloads and streams of many formats since 2018. This includes radio broadcasts, audio on demand and podcasts. Typically, they have a wide target audience due to the wide plethora of audio material they provide. Podcasts have become increasingly popular, with half of podcast listeners being under 35, in comparison to 20% of radio listeners being under 35.
This new podcast was to be a follow-along of the final season of Peaky Blinders. As a result, they were looking for a fresh, new creative way to launch and announce the podcast series with an overarching social creative that hit their target audience and entertained them.
This new podcast series would be a week-by-week audio output with social visual outputs in varying dimensions with the final episode a full video output.
The decision for the launch was almost last minute so we all needed to be ready at all times and flexible depending on the barriers that could and did arise.
The aim of this commercial video was to provide the client with an initial launch video to create series-on-series growth and hype around the returning visual podcast, BBC Sounds, Obsessed With… Peaky Blinders. In addition, we were asked to provide three clips for use during TX, post-TX and pre-TX for use across social media platforms and BBC iPlayer. The aim of the launch video was to capture the attention of series 1 listeners, attracting them to the new series. The three clips following the initial launch video would then have the task of directing previous listeners to the following weeks, trying to retain engagement for the duration of the series and continue to peak interest.
We were lucky enough to have a huge involvement in this project and were involved in every aspect, apart from signing the talent Darren Harriot and Lloyd Griffith. Therefore, the campaign ads really were a Bearded Fellows work of art. BBC Sounds desired a fresh, creative approach to the podcast ad, hoping for high engagement across Twitter, iPlayer, BBC Sounds and 6 music.
Communication & timeframe: With the campaign idea being quite last minute (but a fantastic one), it meant timeframes were very tight. Although, if you know anything about us here at Bearded Fellows, you’ll know we thrive under pressure. When it came to communication, there were many teams involved with the project. From the podcast team, to the actors, their agents, locations, and so on. Therefore, it was quite tricky to juggle so many hats and people, but we made it work, getting everyone in the right place, at the right time, to work their magic.
Ongoing social content: As we were blessed with the task of creating ongoing clips for social use, this gave us a whole other level of working to a short timeframe. Peaky Blinders was being aired simultaneously with the podcast, therefore, over the 10 weeks that the show was being released, we had to plan to receive visual footage from both Peaky Blinders and the BBC Sounds Obsessed with… Peaky Blinders and create social clips with and without captivating spoilers to get viewers talking. Naturally, working with such a huge brand comes with an abundance of legalities, so we had to ensure that everything we were planning was legally compliant, as well as within licensing restrictions, all within a 48 hour window. Were we against the clock at times? We’d be lying if we said we weren’t. But, we remained level-headed with clear communication, and of course, we delivered.
On-the-day unexpected issues: We’re human. On the day of shooting, we were particularly unlucky. From parking, to stolen equipment (that was found already in the location and not actually ever stolen…), a new employee with a sprained ankle who we were trying to show the ropes, panicked mums, all before we’d set anything up. So, if the outcome of this ad campaign doesn’t scream patience and focus, we’re not sure what does.
Once we’d familiarised ourselves with both Peaky Blinders and the BBC Sounds Obsessed with… Peaky Blinders content, noting their style, characters, storyline, we let our creativity flow and got to planning. We kept it simple and opted for a comedic angle considering the initial insights. This creative campaign ad focussed on behind-the-scenes style clips, including a 4th wall break for similarity with the tone of voice of the podcast, Cinéma vérité and a strong opening of insert shots to capture attention immediately.
In terms of location scouting, our hearts were set on the same location that they had used for the podcast. However, we managed to find a very accommodating local pub which was the perfect fit in the end.
The talent was already signed for us by BBC Sounds. With both Darren Harriot and Lloyd Griffith being excellent in their field, they were able to perfectly project our ideas to create record-breaking results.
Once the shooting was complete, we started the editing process. As mentioned, this was an ongoing process due to the show being aired over 10 weeks; this meant many edits with and without spoilers were required for multiple platforms. We prioritised communication which resulted in endless phone calls with multiple teams to ensure our work was exactly how we had envisioned it, creating one of our most successful projects to date.
An outstanding launch with insert shots, a break of the 4th wall, comedy and a documentary style ad, portraying Peaky Blinders in it’s truest form. The ads went on to become BBC Sounds most successful social content in terms of viewership and engagement, reaching 910,000 views in the first three days following launch.
Our icing on the cake? It was the only piece of content that the official Peaky Blinders platform had posted and referenced. This content exceeded their expectations, take a look for yourself.
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