Changing established perceptions of satellite broadband for the masses
Challenging the established narrative of UK broadband is no easy task. When consumers think of high-speed broadband communications, they often think of fibre. However, ViaSat wanted to change that perception, and show why satellite internet should be part of the conversation: highlighting how the ubiquity of satellite systems, coupled with recent advances in the technology; make satellite a high-speed, affordable broadband backbone that could be used by millions of people in the UK and worldwide. If that wasn’t challenging enough, ViaSat also needed to educate those in government and industry that satellite is not the expensive, complex and underperforming technology it is often portrayed as, but in many cases, is the best way to provide global high-speed connectivity.
To create content and media platforms to present the case for satellite as an alternative means of providing broadband services, specifically for those yet to enjoy high-speed connectivity.
Spark built a multifaceted campaign that showcased why satellite internet should be part of the bigger broadband connectivity story. Our goal was to show how satellite could (and should) be part of the dialogue that included fibre, cable and mobile wireless technologies. The program included primarily product launches and consumer research, which proved that traditional broadband services (fibre, cable, mobile) were not satisfying consumers’ demands for high-speed broadband connectivity. Taking this research we created campaigns that showed how satellite could be a complementary and truly viable alternative to traditional terrestrial broadband offerings. These were combined with a media buddy programme – offering tailored briefings depending on journalists’ level of knowledge. For instance, some briefings discussed specific industry issues, while others introduced satellite’s potential. Spark also gathered considerable amounts of research on broadband penetration and strategy, used primarily for supporting ViaSat’s meetings with Government on topics such as UK broadband. This information was also invaluable for briefings, contributed articles, news hijacking, and other media outreach. Spark also worked with ViaSat on creating visibility for high-profile initiatives such as: ViaSat and the European Space Agency’s joint project to fund the development of innovative space-related applications around high-speed broadband and ViaSat’s focus across Europe to raise awareness of a competitor’s anti-competitive practices on spectrum usage.
Not only has ViaSat become the go-to company for high-speed broadband comment for the ‘have-nots’, satellite is now increasingly seen as a viable alternative to fibre, cable and mobile wireless. The campaign secured over 80 pieces of coverage in the UK, including 17 pieces of national and business coverage. The media reached ranged from The Mail on Sunday, The Telegraph and The Times, to Capacity and ZDNet. Penetration into individual publications was also impressive, with three pieces in both the BBC and The Financial Times. The PR campaign helped raise ViaSat’s profile, which has been useful in discussions with the UK and other European Union government meetings on topics that include: high-speed broadband for consumer, enterprise and government use; in-flight connectivity; spectrum usage and allocation, and the overall space race.
- Raised the profile of ViaSat in the UK, as a new kind of broadband internet player
- PR & consumer research leveraged in conversations with the UK government
- More than 85 pieces of earned trade and national press coverage in under 1 year