Excuses - Student Campaign

TV Licensing

Following the success of our original Excuses campaign, we got budding filmmakers to create short-form YouTube content to reframe people’s perceptions of the TV Licensing brand.

TV Licensing is an unusual organisation with different challenges to most brands. Whilst providing the funding for thousands of hours of world-class entertainment to the British public each week, TV Licensing administers and enforces collection of the licence fee.

Not so entertaining. In fact if you search on YouTube for TV Licensing, you are met with significant negative content, including thousands of hours of content in which the organisation and its officers are verbally attacked. Not exactly the context you would wish your brand to be discovered in. The challenge was to generate engaging and shareable content, to help bolster positive attribution towards TV Licensing, and to disrupt the negative flow of user-generated content on YouTube.


As part of TV Licensing’s ongoing effort to highlight the need for a TV Licence and to improve engagement with the brand, they publish a list of the most outrageous excuses people come up with to avoid having to pay for a TV Licence.


We decided to use this year’s TV Licensing excuses to inspire an up-and-coming generation of animators and filmmakers.


We shared the real-life excuses with five of the top animation and filmmaking colleges and universities across the UK and set students the challenge of creating short, entertaining films.


We received 50 films across the 5 universities.

The campaign generated the highest level of organic traffic TVL has ever had, with 37% of views coming organically.

The Judges’ Panel crowned ‘Abducted by Aliens’, created by four students from Middlesex University, as their best video while the public vote, with the largest number of online likes, was ‘King of Scotland’, made by an animation trio from Dundee University. That video is now TV Licensing’s most-viewed YouTube video.