Humans is an 8-part drama, where the new must have gadget is a ‘Synth’, a robotic android with artificial intelligence eerily close to humans. The brief was to excite a 16-34 audience about the show with a noisy and innovative campaign, whilst strengthening the Channel 4 brand reputation for top quality drama.
We quickly felt like the best way to do this was to bring synthetic humans into the real world. Working alongside creative, Matt Fee, we developed a few ideas about how we might make it seem like these products are available to purchase.
The campaign used technology and media (with the help of OMD) in innovative ways to create intrigue around this new brand. We put a TV promo out for the product with no Channel 4 branding, we set up two auctions in an Ebay partnership (the first time Ebay have allowed anyone to set up auctions for a fake product), We created Facebook and Twitter accounts with product information updates and we even managed to secure a shop front in Regent Street for some ‘Coming Soon’ hoarding, to make it feel like the store was actually opening soon. In the store front we fitted two 90″ screens and working alongside Microsoft, developed a Kinect experience where 3D models of our synths followed people as they passed by and beckoned them over for a product demo.
All of the activity carried the hashtag Humans and pushed intrigued members of the public to a destination website, closing the loop and revealing that this had all been promotional material for Humans.
The site had over a million hits with the vast majority of the traffic coming through organic search, trending no. 1 on Twitter and Google. The earned media was also astounding with publications all over the world picking up the story.
After we peaked peoples interest we then switched to the tune in promotion using striking imagery of the shows lead synth across bus sides, digital out of home and digital display.
The campaign has gone on to receive over 30 award nominations, a BAFTA for digital creativity, numerous Gold awards at the Lovies & Promax, and 7 Media Week and Campaign New Thinking Awards, including 2 prestigious Grand Prix awards.