How Foxtel captured Aussies’ attention with sports moments that matter to them

June 2018

Knowing sports fans turn to YouTube each week to relive the most exciting moments, broadcaster Foxtel turned to Director Mix to engage fans online after game time. The brand’s dynamic video ads featured some of the biggest names in sports and were personalised for each fan.

Sports are defined by heart-stopping moments. Every play has the potential to define a season, create a hero, or break millions of hearts, which is why Aussie fans turn to YouTube each week to watch highlights, interviews, and post-game analysis. This viewing behaviour and the knowledge that Aussie fans follow up to four sports at a time gave Foxtel—Australia’s leading sports broadcaster—a unique opportunity to showcase its Sports Pack.

Foxtel’s Sports Pack offers access to more than 40 different sports. But Foxtel realised showcasing its wide range of products wouldn’t be enough to compel casual fans to subscribe to its sports package. To reach fans with interests in specific athletes and sports, the company needed to showcase the moments that mattered to them in the place they go to relive it all: YouTube. Foxtel decided to use dynamic ad creative to promote its sports package to fans across Australia.

Serving up relevant, personalised highlights with Director Mix

To promote its new sports package, Foxtel originally focused on a TV campaign with creative that featured an Aussie mum dropping off some of Australia’s beloved athletes at their respective stadiums. But rather than paint all Aussie sports fans with the same brush, Foxtel wanted to feature each person’s favourite teams in personalised creative to grab their attention with the weekly moments that were most relevant to them.

Mindshare and Google worked with Felix, Foxtel’s internal creative team, to experiment with a dynamic video strategy. This strategy would allow for personalised creative without sapping the team’s time and resources that would go into changing a TV spot every week. The brand decided to repurpose and customise its TV spot with YouTube’s Director Mix, a new tool that would allow the brand to integrate weekly highlights into a variety of dynamic ads. Foxtel planned for each week’s video ads to incorporate different superstars’ performances and new, unique scenes with mum, ensuring that the ads were relevant to fans’ interests and the week’s most talked-about plays.

“Director Mix is a game changer. For the first time, we can capture the intensity of sport and create personalised executions for every fan, every week.” -Christopher Boyd, Head of Sport Marketing, Foxtel

Before launching the campaign, Foxtel tested highlight clips from the A-League football season to find the ideal ad length and format. The team edited the clips using a variety of lengths, graphics, and branded overlays and then used Brand Lift to measure their impact on view-through rate (VTR) and audience retention. Results from the tests showed that bumper ads kept Foxtel’s target audience most engaged and boosted recall by 17%, so the team built their creative around epic, individual highlight moments.

Foxtel used Director Mix to develop custom scripts for each ad based on the way fans searched for specific players and moments. For example, after looking at YouTube search data, Foxtel found that people more often searched for terms like “Tim Cahill scores a header” than “Tim Cahill highlights.” With that information in mind, Foxtel ensured its ads started with a star player and mum and ended with a buzzworthy highlight. Then the brand used Custom Affinity audiences to serve ads to fans based on their interests.

This allowed the campaign to adapt in real time with every play. So when league fans were hunting for big hits, we could capture their attention with this instant classic. Or when Sydney fans were trying to keep up with Buddy’s epic goal haul we could offer them the best seats in the house. Whether it was a goal that captured the nation’s attention or a player sealing a legacy, Director Mix helped Foxtel turn one TV spot into more than 1,300 new storylines each week, all powered by the biggest names and moments in Aussie sports.

Foxtel’s personalised approach proves to be a game-changer

By syncing up its video ads each week with the latest highlights, Foxtel was able to create a unique connection with a wider range of fans. Using Director Mix helped the brand reduce its cost-per-acquisition by 33% compared with similar video executions and increase VTR by 151% over the course of the eight-week campaign. Plus, it helped Foxtel’s marketing team streamline its creative process, increasing the number of videos its budget could support by 430% YoY and cutting overall costs by 40%. Most importantly, Foxtel saw a 200% increase in watch time on its YouTube creative, which showed how much more engaging its dynamic ads were in comparison with the company’s previous TrueView campaigns.

foxtel results

By reimagining its video approach, Foxtel was able to transform a single execution into a campaign that captured the intensity of live sports without sacrificing relevance for individual fans. The campaign’s success has inspired the company to continue using Director Mix to turn future sports and entertainment moments into memorable creative each week and create dynamic templates for major campaigns moving forward.

“Director Mix is a game changer. For the first time, we can capture the intensity of sport and create personalised executions for every fan, every week,” said Christopher Boyd, Foxtel’s head of sport marketing. “With new insights from each audience feeding directly into our creative, we plan to use this technology as the foundation of our always-on video approach. Drawing data into the creative process earlier and allowing it to shape live campaigns in-market has set a new standard for our brand marketing.”

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