CASSIES Bronze: TFO channels insights

To combat TFO’s reputation as dated and elitist, plus flat to declining viewership levels, the “Je-ne-sais-quoi Télé” campaign was launched.
Microsoft Word - TFO Two Year Assets.docx


Situation Analysis: The mandate and primary objective of French Groupe Média TFO has for two decades been to promote Francophone culture and education in Ontario. However, the channel had become perceived as dated and elitist, speaking only to Ontario’s French-speaking cultural elite, the result being flat to declining viewership levels. The challenge was to reposition a regional French language TV network to be more broadly relevant while not alienating the core target.

Insight & Strategy: Perceptions of, and interest in, French culture had evolved quite significantly in Ontario in the two decades since the channel had begun broadcasting. French culture held a unique currency, not just to Franco-Canadians, but also to Anglophones, some wrapped up in the arts and culture programming that TFO featured, while to others, education was the appeal. This was especially true of the younger Anglophones in Ontario, who were more open-minded and interested in French culture than previous generations. This insight led directly to the strategy of making “French-ness” the hero of the campaign, positioning TFO as the network that makes “French-ness” both enticing and accessible to those who simply love French (Francophiles) in addition to those who speak it (Francophones). TFO would become the best way to inject more French into Ontarians’ lives.

Execution: Following the official TFO rebrand in 2011 where new brand visuals had been rolled out, as well as the creation of a new organization, Club TFO, to assist in the collection of donations to the station, the “La Je-ne-sais-quoi Télé campaign” was developed to deepen the engagement with current and potential viewers. Combining cheeky, bilingual headlines with high-profile media placements, the campaign drove viewers to a microsite that offered unique facts about French culture and TFO’s programming. The campaign was then further extended across print, OOH, digital and experiential platforms by the “Living Piano” Opera campaign supporting TFO’s vast library of cinematic and operatic content.

Results: Against a goal to increase viewership by 20% post-rebranding, reversing a recent history of decline in both channel and Canadian TV viewership numbers, the “Je-ne-sais-quoi” campaign added 82% net new viewers, and increased to a BBM Audience Rating of four, comparable to conventional and specialty networks with naturally wider audiences and greater marketing support. As a publicly funded corporation, TFO does not sell advertising space, but, if it did, the increased ratings would have yielded in excess of $77 million dollars over the previous two years. site visits more than doubled compared to fall 2012, as did time spent on-site, while subscribers to all TFO social platforms combined (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) increased by over 2,000%.

Cause & Effect: TFO ran no other campaigns over the course of the “Je-ne-sais-quoi Télé” campaign and made no significant changes to its programming offering. Tracking studies revealed that nine out of 10 respondents found the campaign more youthful and dynamic than previous TFO content, while 85% felt that it effectively captured French culture. Only 3% of French speaking Canadians did not like the campaign at all, indicating the broadening of the network’s appeal without alienating the current viewership.

Client: Groupe Media TFO
Agency: Lowe Roche
CDs: Mark Mason, Jane Murray, Cher Campbell, Sean Ohlenkamp
Designer: Louis Chapdelaine
ADs: Gail Pak, Ryan Speziale
CWs: Jordan Gabriel, Mike Greco, Martin Rivard
SVP, client services: Marie-Lise Campeau
Account sirector: Frederic Morin
Director of production: Beth MacKinnon
Digital agency producer: Neal Owusu
Agency producer: Caroline Wrinch
Printer: Flash Reproductions
OOH printer: Eclipse Imaging
Production company: ONE Collective