Case Study: TV Licensing

How do you stop consumers ignoring your letters?

The challenge

TV Licensing Renewals asked us to look at their renewal letters to help them understand why response rates were low and slow, and women in particular were simply shelving the letters. They knew that if more people responded to the first letter they could make considerable savings by not needing to send a follow up letter.

What did we do?

We started by looking at the first license renewal letters, and a range of comparable direct mail from the UK. We used semiotics and language analysis to understand what they were unconsciously communicating and why that was preventing consumers from renewing straight away.

Their letters strongly signalled an ‘authoritarian threat’. The letters used sharp-edged boxes, blue and black colours, a personality that was recognisably male, and a tone of voice that felt like being told off by a parent.

We recommended evolving the letter so that it communicated a more ‘enabling personality’ in line with emergent cultural context. That included adding white space, using a lime green colour, more dynamic icons and tone of voice that felt like talking to someone on an even footing.

Where did it lead?

TV Licensing followed our guidance and briefed their agency to successfully rewrite and redesign their letters, saving £40m over 3 years.