A Case Study in Sharing Brand Purpose: PBS

If you watch PBS, you already know this legacy brand has a long history of expressing its thanks to viewers like you. That’s because its business model relies heavily in individual donations from viewers like you to continue offering great content, on every platform, for adults and kids alike.

To inspire donations, PBS knew it needed to demonstrate its purpose in clear terms, to make sure people knew exactly why this brand matters. Rooted deeply in customer research, the marketing team identified three key attributes that viewers like you said really set PBS apart from the pack and made it worth their financial support.
First was the idea that PBS shows opened up worlds of possibilities for people—whether through historical dramas, science or nature, journalism or the arts. Secondly, because access to those shows is free (as the cord-cutters knew so well), which meant anyone who wanted to explore the world outside their living room, could. Finally, that PBS was the only media company with stations on the ground in every market in America meant there were opportunities for local content and personal experiences complementary to the national offering.
Great marketers know it’s far better to show someone than to just tell someone your story. And even better if fans of your brand are willing to tell their version of the story on your behalf! Marrying this marketing know-how with the research-based findings about what the brand stands for, the in-house creative team produced a first-person testimonial campaign featuring real viewers like you. Each one told a unique story about how PBS opened up a world of possibility they hadn’t considered before.
This is Yuyi’s Story. This is Craig’s Story. This is Denice’s Story.
There are several more, each one personal, authentic and a vibrant illustration of the PBS brand purpose. You can read a bit more about the campaign strategy and results, as well as the DIY testimonial production guide, here.

This campaign is an example of powerful, purposeful storytelling. Individually, each story shines a light on differentiating brand values. Together, they add up to something bigger the a whole—anyone, people in any place on their personal journey and in any town, have access to new worlds of possibility through PBS.