Sky unveils AdSmart fund to woo SMEs to small screen

room-2559790_1920Sky is aiming to convince small firms of the joys of data-driven TV advertising during the coronavirus crisis with the launch of a £1m fund to provide 100 businesses with campaigns on its AdSmart addressable TV platform.

Dubbed the SME100, the Sky Media scheme is open to smaller firms that have been running for at least a year in the UK, with up to 50 full-time employees.

Businesses can nominate themselves or be put forward by their own customers. Sky Media is urging consumers to highlight the businesses in their local area that need support during this time and would benefit from accessing TV ads when consumption has significantly increased.

Sky Media insists the initiative is designed to reward the businesses that are demonstrating true resolve and ingenuity. However, move also coincides with the bottom falling out of the TV advertising market – according to last week’s AA/Warc forecast, small screen spend will be down 46.6% in Q2.

Even so, Sky Media claims businesses of all types that are adapting to the current climate can further thrive with the extra exposure addressable TV can deliver. From local garden centres delivering flowers and materials for the first time, to yoga and dance studios keeping people fit with new online classes, the businesses that are selected to be part of the SME100 will be representative of the whole of the UK, the company insists.

Sky Media director of AdSmart local & development David Sanderson said: “Businesses up and down the country are facing some of the hardest trading conditions in recent memory. We want to help our nation’s SMEs where possible by giving access to highly relevant audiences via AdSmart totally for free.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, making up 99.9% of all business in the UK. We know that although there are economic slowdowns, people are still spending money and we want to help brands connect to these audiences. This initiative is about giving businesses confidence in advertising and their ability to succeed no matter the situation.”

Creative execution of the ads will be supported by local creative agencies and through an exclusive partnership with Shutterstock, which will provide free access to images, video and music.

Sky Media says this will enable local creative agencies to produce broadcast-ready, 30 second ads remotely and cost-effectively and will bring further investment into local and smaller creative industries.

The AdSmart technology allows brands to target households by postcode area, within a designated distance of their store, or by household make-up or lifestyle attributes that best suit their service.

Sky Media’s recent report, AdSmart: Five Years & Forward, revealed addressable TV campaigns increase purchase intent by 7% overall, and as much as 20% for new to TV advertisers who benefit from the exposure and credibility TV delivers. Local brands like Gasway and Richardson’s Garden Centre have seen significant business growth (35% and 17% uplift respectively) through their TV campaigns.

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