Magazine article Marketing

Where Next for Channel 5?

Magazine article Marketing

Where Next for Channel 5?

Article excerpt

Satellite TV heavyweight Jim Hytner is the new marketing director at the fifth terrestrial channel.

The news that BSkyB's Jim Hytner is to join Channel 5 as marketing director has created something of a stir.

Many in the industry believe that Hytner's hiring is inspired. After ITV's surprise decision to go for a Procter & Gamble man with zero TV experience, C5 has plumped for a marketer who is steeped in the world of broadcasting following a four-year stint at Sky Television.

Added to that, Hytner, 33, also has valuable FMCG experience, following spells at Sega and Coca-Cola. Nevertheless, some in the industry have expressed surprise that Hytner should choose to leave a company which has arguably created the strongest brand in pay television, and is at the forefront of the digital television revolution, for a station which many believe has struggled to live up to its 'modern and mainstream' promise.

As Hytner prepares to take up the marketing reins at the UK's fifth terrestrial channel in February, it seems timely to assess the health of the brand he inherits.

Awareness factor

He joins C5 at a time when marketing has become an important factor in the success of any broadcast brand. The outgoing marketing director, David Brook, ensured the station got plenty of exposure at its launch last Easter (the presence of The Spice Girls guaranteed that) and appears to have done an admirable job in creating brand awareness, with C5's distinctive five-colour logo and 'Give me 5' advertising.

Of course, C5 has taken its share of flak - not least for its retuning programme, which caused the launch date to be put back from January this year, and for its reach, which is not fully national. Critics have also continued to snipe at its programming - alleging an over-reliance on movies and sport.

Despite this, advertisers have supported the new channel to the extent that 90% of all national network commercials are on C5. …

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