The season three finale of Thunderbirds Are Go saw the iconic Tracy brothers rescue their missing father, winning CITV a 53 per cent increase in audience share among the show’s target viewers – boys aged four to nine years – and an uplift of 25 per cent among children in general.
The final episodes, which aired January - March this year, featured a star-studded voiceover cast including Sheridan Smith OBE, Gemma Chan and Cel Spellman.
To drive tune-in prior to launch among the core target audience, ITV Studios delivered a fun influencer stunt to dramatise the series’ climatic space theme.
The stunt, devised by Highlight PR, challenged YouTube family Toys Fun Fam, to complete a real-life ‘Space Camp’ training experience; dressed as the Tracy brothers, the YouTube duo flew through ‘space’ (at an indoor skydiving centre), blind tasted astronaut food, completed a solar system quiz and reviewed Thunderbirds Are Go toys.
The campaign, which also included widespread media coverage for the new voiceover cast and episodes, ensured Thunderbirds Are Go 3C averaged the highest volume share for a children’s Saturday morning title, over eight weeks, among boys aged four to nine years and children.
Christina Lima, VP of Global Franchise Management and Creative Services, said: “Thunderbirds Are Go is one of the most popular shows on CITV and we wanted to bring a new wave of boys aged four to nine years to ITV and CITV Saturday morning programming. The show’s exciting climax and big-name cast helped this, and Highlight PR’s high impact YouTube stunt and integrated PR and social activity also contributed significantly to driving tune-in. The results were impressive, and we are all very pleased with the campaign and the audience it attracted.”
Alison Vellacott, director at Highlight PR, said: “We had six weeks to develop and deliver the thrust of this campaign ahead of the new episodes’ drop, also competing against the Christmas white-out. Unperturbed by these constraints, the team focused all tactical activity on reconnecting parents and children with the show, which resulted in the spectacular audience uplift.”
Viewing peaked on 15 February, with 184,000 children aged four to 15 years tuning in to watch the season’s penultimate episode, The Long Reach (part one).