Uswitch dominated the energy switching market, however, there it wanted to diversify its revenue stream by building a stronger business in newer categories, such as broadband and credit cards. This would steer Uswitch into competition with higher spending PCWs, such as Compare the Market, MoneySuperMarket, Confused.com, and Go Compare. Concurrently, those same PCWs had their sights set on the energy market, which they viewed as ripe for growth with only c. 20% of households changing supplier each year. Despite significant investment in brand-building TV, Uswitch’s awareness lagged significantly behind that of the other PCWs. We knew we had to catch up if we were to compete.
As ITV had yet to find a sponsor for its flagship entertainment show, Britain’s Got Talent, we negotiated this powerful property for significantly less than its normal market value. This sponsorship’s inventory is immense, with the on-screen idents, supplemented by an extensive list of assets, including the Britain’s Got Talent voting app, which allowed us to offer “Golden Buzzer” deals daily. The “Golden Buzzer” deals, and associated branding, became the basis of Uswitch’s CRM, and we integrated our “coach” core creative asset into the app to help people configure the set-up. Included in the sponsorship deal was a significant presence, including branding at all Britain’s Got Talent venues, on ITV.com, and in related social competitions.
The results were dramatic. We appeared on thirteen shows across eight weeks, delivering an average audience of 10m per episode. We shattered the previous prompted awareness ceiling of c. 75% and caught up with the big three PCWs for the first time in years, hitting 81% in post-campaign analysis. Spontaneous awareness also benefitted, and we consolidated our leadership in energy and broadband, overtaking Confused.com in the broader price comparison. Site traffic improved considerably, with uplifts of 10-30% (YoY) in the early weeks, and up to 57% as we approached the final. This led to a short-term increase in customer transactions, valued at over £1m alone.