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Home » Lessons from Immediate Media’s biggest ever 1-day partnership | What’s New in Publishing

Lessons from Immediate Media’s biggest ever 1-day partnership | What’s New in Publishing

Launching a digital takeover of all Immediate Media’s ad inventory for a single, pinpoint campaign isn’t easy. The key? Make sure every stakeholder is present at the right time.

With a guest capacity of 5,600, P&O Cruises launched its latest ship, Arvia, in a star-studded ceremony on March 16th in Barbados. The event saw global superstar Nicole Scherzinger christen the ship alongside Olly Murs, Sara Cox and Trevor Nelson.

As part of the launch campaign, P&O Cruises approached Immediate Media (publisher of Radio Times, Gardeners’ World, Top Gear and others) for a complete takeover of all its digital ad inventory, across all its titles, for the day of the launch.

P&O Cruises brief was clear: drive traffic to a dedicated page on for a live appointment-to-view YouTube event at 7pm, as well as reach a target of more than 1m ad impressions. Speaking to WNIP, Rob Hunt, Creative Partnerships Director at Radio Times, said, “P&O Cruises and Immediate make a good fit, with Immediate offering a scaled engaged audience with a high disposable income. Our multi-brand creative solution was designed to ensure maximum impact and awareness for this major launch.” 

“Although it was a large project to deliver in a compressed time frame, it was very much a straightforward digital ad inventory deal and took just a week to finalize and organize.“

The only internal editorial stakeholder we had to speak to was the Editor of because the site was hosting the live appointment-to-view event, strategically chosen as it is the go-to site for entertainment news and guidance

Rob Hunt, Creative Partnerships Director at Radio Times

Challenges and Learnings

Hunt is reluctant to disclose specific results but says the publisher reached its target of ad impressions and click-throughs to the live event, “All day on the 16th we were monitoring the ad impressions to ensure we delivered the contracted level. At times we looked like we’d over-deliver, and at times we looked like we’d under-deliver, so it demanded constant evaluation and adjustment.”

Hunt adds that delivering an entire campaign in one single day isn’t easy, “You always expect little things to need adjusting on a digital ad campaign, but when it’s being delivered on one single day, it simply can’t go wrong.”

“I spent the entire week in the lead up to March 16th reiterating to all the ad delivery teams how much focus the campaign needed, to deliver the required impressions in such a short space of time.”

If I had one piece of advice for other publishers it’s that if you run an ad campaign at a specific time for a specific purpose, all the stakeholders must be present or available at the launch time, even if it is during the evening or weekends.

Rob Hunt, Creative Partnerships Director at Radio Times

Talent Spotting

An unusual feature of Immediate’s relationship with P&O Cruises is that the publisher has supported the cruise company in sourcing and managing talent for its “Sail With the Stars” cruises this summer.

Hunt says that the arrangement isn’t as strange as it sounds, “As a publisher we have strong, long-standing relationships with numerous celebrities and when we were asked by P&O Cruises to select stars for a select number of cruises it made sense. We then promoted the cruises across our brand portfolio.”

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