Vice Media is on the brink of unleashing a “significant” month-long marketing campaign for its new UK television channel, Viceland.
A Vice source told Business Insider that 30-second spot adverts for Viceland will roll out from Friday on both Freeview and pay television. These will be the first TV ads for the channel since it launched on Sky on 19 September.
Big commercial broadcasters ITV and Channel 4 will carry adverts for Viceland. Vice will also target its core millenial audience on stations like E4, Channel 4’s youth TV service.
The Right Now On TV campaign will let Viceland’s content do the talking. Shows including “Weediquette” and “Black Market” will be showcased in adverts that will eschew elaborate graphics and flashy design. This direct tone has been evident in Viceland’s social media output.
Our Vice source declined to reveal how much it is spending on the marketing spree. The TV ads will be supplemented by an outdoor poster campaign and social video activity across Facebook and Twitter.
Viceland’s launch in the UK has been “lacklustre.”
Vice has been planning the campaign for some time and an insider said it is unrelated to negative reports on Tuesday about Viceland’s performance since it debuted on Sky last month.
Media analyst Enders Analysis has published a report criticising Viceland’s “lacklustre” launch. It claimed that the channel is sometimes failing to attract a single viewer, while its biggest audience in its first two weeks was a peak of just under 14,000.
“Vice has paid for a home where browsing footfall is rapidly diminishing, surrounded by neighbours, which tellingly, create no original programming,” said the report by Enders analyst Tom Harrington. “Added to this is a marketing budget which is seemingly unable to stretch to anything outside the already enraptured Vice-sphere.”
Business Insider’s own analysis shows that Viceland averaged a total, all hours (2 a.m-2 a.m.) audience of 1,900 across its first seven days. Some 3,800 watched from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. — the period during which Viceland schedules most of its key content.
It averaged 900 young viewers (those aged between 16 and 34) across all hours in its first week, according to Barb TV ratings data from overnights.tv. By contrast, MTV averaged 8,400 millennial viewers over the same period.
Vice: Don’t judge us yet.
A Vice spokeswoman said the company is playing a long game. She explained:
“Judging a new channel on its ratings when it’s just out of the blocks is extremely premature. Looking at Viceland in the US after six months, the average audience age dropped by nearly 20 years, its audience is growing week by week, and our programming is Emmy nominated. In the coming months we expect to mirror the same success here in the UK as well.”
She added that Viceland content is performing well on Facebook. The channel’s content has racked up 6.6 million video views on the website, around half of which were for long-form videos.