We’ve all heard about the goldfish's attention span versus those of the newest generation (spoiler: goldfish take the gold), and how it’s now harder than ever to stand out from the other 5,000 ads students see each and every day. We know, it’s tough out there.

Well, excuse the salt being rubbed into the wounds, but we’re also here to tell you that students are now watching a third less traditional TV than they were 10 years ago. Which begs the question, is television advertising still worth it? Well, it’s not all bad news here. Because if you’re willing to acknowledge the shift in student behaviour, and how streaming is only continuing to gain pace, there is still ample opportunity. And it is still a hugely effective means of targeting your prospective audience. Just On-Demand instead.

An incredible 91% of students use an entertainment service (Netflix and Amazon Prime being the most popular) and nearly half of all teens say they currently watch on-demand TV most often. And this is where our relationship with Love Island begins. The perfect storm of a summer zeitgeist, providing unique audience reach and an advertising whitespace that many universities have yet to acknowledge. Moral of the story, advertising does still work in the student market, you just have to be sure you know where they’re looking.

And there’s no better demonstration of On-Demand’s allure on your target audience than with Love Island. The show that dominates British summer and is now the most-watched programme on a digital channel - ever - amongst 16-34-year-olds. Want some stats with that? 5 million 16-34-year-olds downloaded the first episode of the most recent series across their mobiles and tablets on Video on Demand. And so, when our Media Buying team had the opportunity to put forward a creative campaign to a partner that trusts us for what would be the first VoD ad placement, well, let's just say we were as excited about it as Maura was heading into Casa Amore. 

Enter London South Bank University, whose brief was to raise awareness of their undergraduate courses ahead of A-level Results Day. Already working on a wider strategic summer recruitment campaign, the opportunity to put their brand in front of 5 million eyeballs, and being aligned with the UK’s most talked-about summer sensation, on a platform that, for many, was the only way young people were watching television. Well, you guessed it, heads were turned. 


While the winners of 2019 Love Island may already be fading from our memories, London South Bank University were in it for the long term. This single tactic was just a part of the bigger long-term campaign that spanned the entire year. But as a tactic that put their brand in-front of such a relevant TV audience, it’s a great example of when being opportunistic and creative with your media buying reaps dividends and the benefits of jumping at an opportunity when it comes calling (or messaging). 

And you don’t just need to take our word for it either, the results speak for themselves. By identifying the opportunity in On Demand and the Love Island spectacle, the awareness strategy performed incredibly well with almost 1 million impressions, and a CPC 60% cheaper than the industry benchmark. 

If you would like to find out more about Video on Demand advertising or how else we continue pushing innovation in this crowded market, get in touch.

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Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Marketing Executive