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Tech for Good: Sky announces SME100, a £1 million AdSmart SME Support Scheme

Sky Media, the advertising sales arm of Sky, today launches its AdSmart SME support scheme, the SME100. The £1 million fund will provide 100 businesses with TV advertising campaigns via AdSmart to support them during the difficult times.

SME100 is open to SMEs that have been running for at least one year in the UK with up to 50 full time employees. Businesses can nominate themselves or be put forward by their own customers. Sky Media is encouraging people to highlight the businesses in their local area that need support during this time and who would benefit from accessing the power of TV advertising at a moment when TV consumption has significantly increased.

Sky Media wants to reward the businesses that are demonstrating true resolve and ingenuity. Businesses of all types are adapting to the current climate but can further thrive with the extra exposure TV can deliver. From local garden centres delivering flowers and materials for the first time, to yoga and dance studios keeping people fit with new online classes, the businesses that are selected to be part of the SME100 will be representative of the whole of the UK.  

“Businesses up and down the country are facing some of the hardest trading conditions in recent memory,” said David Sanderson, Director of AdSmart Local & Development at Sky Media. “We want to help our nation’s SMEs where possible by giving access to highly relevant audiences via AdSmart totally for free. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, making up 99.9% of all business in the UK. We know that although there are economic slowdowns, people are still spending money and we want to help brands connect to these audiences. This initiative is about giving businesses confidence in advertising and their ability to succeed no matter the situation.”

Creative execution of the ads will be supported by local creative agencies and through an exclusive partnership with Shutterstock. Shutterstock will assist the 100 businesses by providing complimentary access to high-quality images, video and music to aid the creative process and effectively tell their story with engaging content. In doing so, the SME100 and Shutterstock will enable local creative agencies to produce broadcast-ready, 30 second ads remotely and cost-effectively and will bring further investment into local and smaller creative industries.

The campaigns will be delivered via AdSmart from Sky, the market leading addressable TV platform, that easily enables brands to advertise on TV by focusing on the audiences that matter to them. This revolutionary technology means a brand can reach households by postcode area, within a designated distance of their store, or by household make-up or lifestyle attributes that best suit their service. In only targeting audiences that matter to the business, brands can be assured that their advertising will be relevant, accessible and drive business results.

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully said “This Government is fully committed to supporting SMEs through this challenging time, with £12.3 billion in grants and 100% government guaranteed loans of up to £50,000 through our Bounce Back Loans scheme. However, we all have a role to play in the national response to COVID-19, so I welcome Sky’s announcement today, releasing a £1 million AdSmart fund to provide SMEs with free TV advertising campaigns.”

Since launching in 2014, AdSmart has been used by 2,380 brands for more than 28,000 campaigns. In Sky Media’s recent research report, ‘AdSmart: Five Years & Forward’ it was revealed that addressable TV campaigns increase purchase intent by 7% overall, and as much as 20% for new to TV advertisers who benefit from the exposure and credibility TV delivers.