X Factor’s Gary Barlow & Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch to star in ‘YouView’ ad

Gary Barlow and Benedict Cumberbatch are to front a new advertising campaign together, it has been confirmed.

The Take That star and Sherlock actor will be joined by stars from Downton Abbey, Larry Hagman from Dallas and Doctor Who’s Daleks as they appear in a number of television commercials, as well as having their images projected onto a number of buildings across the country.

The campaign is designed to publicise the new YouView service, which backers are hoping will be a viable new rival to BSkyB and Virgin Media. The service is backed by BT, Arqiva and Talk Talk.

The new campaign will kick off this weekend and will air during The X Factor and The Jonathan Ross show.

YouView allows access to television channels, radio stations, on-demand services and internet content using a set-top box, ‘hybrid’ connected with an internet connection and an aerial to watch digital terrestrial television channels (similar to BT Vision). At the launch of YouView, chairman Lord Sugar’s ambition for the service was to replace Freeview devices.

Chief executive Richard Halton described the campaign as ‘YouView hitting the public airwaves,’ adding, ‘The brand is well-known in the media village but now it is about the public.

‘The scale of the marketing budget is pretty heavy from launch. TV is still the biggest medium for reaching a mass audience, especially for launching a brand no one has really heard of.’

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