BBC World Service

BBC World Service

The brief

BBC World Service is the world’s largest international broadcaster, broadcasting news, speech and discussions in 28 languages.

Following the launch of its Thai Facebook page, the BBC World Service challenged Oban International to help it meet two key objectives:

1. Amplify the reach and engagement for chosen content by targeting a new unique audience the BBC World Service had not reached before – Thai millennials

2. Optimise ad performance to drive a high engagement rate.
This would require a creative paid search strategy supported by Oban’s in-depth understanding and local knowledge of the Thai people and culture.

What we did

Unique audience understanding

Our approach was to use our unique understanding of the BBC’s target audience to create an innovative strategy. Although respected among an older demographic, the BBC is seen by some younger people as less relevant. Our strategy began by mapping the Page’s current audience to clearly identify their cultural interests, news consumption and preferred types of engagement. We were then able to build look-alike profiles based on reach and engagement that we could target with newsfeed ads to expand the user base.

By identifying the audience’s key influencers, what they were sharing and who they were engaging with, we were able to use these insights to target our ads to reach the BBC’s core target audiences for this campaign. The robustness of our audience analysis meant that post launch optimisation was more effective as it could focus on scaling reach rather than refining the scope of our campaign.

Content that resonates

Content was key to our strategy both in terms of what type of content our target audiences would like and share but also where they would choose to consume it. Using our local understanding, we worked closely with BBC World Service to identify a human interest story that would resonate with Thai Facebook users. This could then be promoted through paid social activity at our look-alike audience.

The proposed taxation of street food vendors by the Thai military government inspired a series of videos focussing on street food styles and traditions around the globe.

The six videos produced by BBC World Service focussed on the street food culture of Colombia, Bangkok, India, Haoi, Isan and Hong Kong, which lasted one minute or less each.

Attracting the right audience

Using the series of videos we targeted 18-25 year olds in the Thai language through look-alike modelling and extension. We knew that politics and social issues as well as current events would attract our audience, in addition to targeting fans of BBC World Service competitor sites such as PostToday, BBTV Channel. ThaiPBS, DMC.TV and National Channel.

What we achieved

The campaign successfully engaged with 6.9 million people.

The one month campaign achieved:

  • 275,000 video views
  • 47,000 Facebook likes
  • 343 comments
  • In terms of overall impressions there was a fairly even split between the sexes with 57% of all video views by men and 43% by women.