Ministry of Sound: The Only Way is Marbs PP

Challenge

Ministry of Sound (MOS) only had a small budget with which to launch its new compilation album "Marbella Sessions" and wanted a campaign that would not only boost sales of the album, but also allow the record label to communicate with its 16-34 audience on a deeper level.   

Insight

The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) provided the perfect platform. Not only do the cast annually visit Marbella, according to research commissioned by The Sun, TOWIE fans have spent £1.2 billion on purchasing products seen on the reality show. And they’re a pretty influential group on social media too. The show’s loyal 900,000+ twitter followers love talking about the glamorous lives of the cast on screen. 

Idea

Together with the7stars and Lime Pictures, we would create one of the most integrated partnerships ever seen on TV in the UK, placing Ministry’s Marbella Sessions compilation album at the centre of action in "The Only Way is Marbs” episodes with product placement.  

Implementation

Ministry of Sound hosted a branded album launch party in Marbella during the launch of the Summer TOWIE series which provided the back drop to the action for key cast members, including a guest DJ session from Lauren Pope. Verbal references to the event were spread across two episodes, with Lauren and Chloe discussing what to wear.

Prior to the event, sponsored tweets were sent from the Twitter accounts of show favourites Ricky and Lauren, reaching 1.5m followers (this is not even including the re-tweets!). The invite and seed strategy was also sent to the press to maximise exposure before the episode aired. Further tweets were sent from cast members and the official TOWIE account on the night of transmission. 

At the Marbella Sessions launch party, where the TOWIE cast were VIPs, there was clear MOS branding and songs from the album played throughout the itv2 programme. Ministry of Sound Marbella Session TV adverts were also contextually placed around the storylines on TV and VOD. 

Results

The Ministry of Sound product placement partnership was a great success story, with "Marbella Sessions” jumping from #5 on the iTunes chart to #1 on during the show’s transmission.

Sales reached 20k in one week, making it MOS’ biggest non-Christmas sales figure since 2010. It was also MOS’ biggest-ever week one digital sales and highest day one of supermarket sales since 2010.

The social strategy was a hit with fans as well. For viewers with a Twitter account, 31% follow or post tweets on @theonlywayisessex. On the night of broadcast, the "The Only Way is Marbs” was the most tweeted about programme and also during the repeat, with over 6000 tweets per minute. 5% of Tweeters used the hashtag #MARBELLASESSIONS

ITV Research* reveals:

  • 69% of viewers saw both episodes
  • 54% viewers remember seeing or hearing references to "Marbella Sessions album launch party”
  • 65% of 16-34s viewers remember seeing or hearing references to "Marbella Sessions album launch party”
  • 2 in 3 (68%) viewers associated "Ministry Of Sound" with “Marbella Sessions album launch and party”
  • 30% of viewers recall seeing advertising for the album
  • The TV Advertisement drove positive and fun associations with the music amongst viewers and commonly associated the product placement with the words "Good", "Music”, "Great", "Fun" and "Like". 

* Source:YouGov GB Panel 7th-10th Jun 2013 

  • #1 In the iTunes chart
  • 69% Percent of viewers saw both episodes

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