Business PR Strategy Tips

What does the Britain’s Got Talent formula teach us about Marketing?

Posted by Deborah | June 1st, 2015 | No responses

by Stuart Miles

by Stuart Miles

I’m not going to lie. I despise myself for being even slightly curious as to the winner of Britain’s Got Talent.

I mean, for goodness sake – what value can this programme possibly bring to the life of a 30-something woman who has no interest in watching kids perform karate or dogs perform tricks?

But here’s the thing….

I did find myself idly watching parts of last night’s live TV final.

And what’s more, I found myself drawn into developing a ‘favourite’ and actually wondering what impact this show would have on the lives of those involved.

Because you know what, that Simon Cowell knows what he’s doing when it comes to creating marketable packages.

It’s no wonder the ad-breaks are packed to bursting with commercials. Frankly, the prime airtime opportunity is perfect for the positioning of family brands when you’ve several million, kids, grannies and parents huddled around the box to watch a TV talent show unfold.

Anyway, regardless of whether you think the whole thing is a low-grade television let-down, or whether you’re tuning in and throwing your own BGT party to mark your enthusiasm, here’s what BGT can teach us all about marketing:


Mass audience means finding multiple strands of appeal:

We can’t all love an ‘old boys’ singing act or a prancing puppy or a choir the size of a small country.

Of course not.

What keeps so many entire families and social groups watching is the variety of input into the programme. You’re bound to like ‘something’.

This is true in marketing appeal. If you want to broaden your reach you’ll need to look at multiple ways of targeting sectors.

This might be finding the health-inspired message behind your product in order to reach the sport lover, while at the same time appealing to a cash-rich time-poor mother of three.

Explore how your brand or business can hit the interest buttons of multiple targets.

Keep the conversation going in between your key activity:

Even when BGT is off air, the twitter feeds and ‘in between’ programmes keep the audience engaged through a variety of mediums.

The more you create ongoing dialogue around your product or service, the more you fuel an appetite for your next announcement or instalment.

Bear that in mind by keeping blogs and social media up to date and encouraging feedback.

 Who else wants ‘in’ on your magic?:

If you’ve got noise behind your brand or business initiative, perhaps someone else wants to be part of that too.

You may not attract the level of sponsorships and advertising collateral that BGT does, but you may well end up with some usefully expanded networks of contacts and some good brand associations.

You can have the same format, just keep refreshing your approach:

BGT hasn’t changed hugely in the time it’s been running, but it freshens up each year and gives us a new reason to want to view the next season’s approach.

You don’t always have to come up with something totally unique, but just do things better and in a slightly more unexpected way than your previous marketing efforts.

Take the good from your past campaign and tweak it.

Someone will always have to take responsibility for the hit or miss:

Whether BGT had been hailed a huge success or huge failure this year, there is always someone who’ll end up being held to account for that decision or format.

Whatever approach you take with your marketing, ensure someone is directing the strategy and that everyone knows who reports to whom and where the ‘buck stops’ in good or bad times.

**I’m currently looking for new projects and interim posts. For more information about PR and marketing strategy, email

by Stuart Miles

by Stuart Miles

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