Channel 4 - The Handmaid's Tale

Case study - Objective: Prompt action

In a world of boxset bingeing, Channel 4’s challenge was to make the second series of The Handmaid’s Tale an unmissable live TV event. To do this, the campaign tapped into the prominence of the #MeToo movement and gender pay gap debate to create temporary outrage using the voice of Gilead. The aim was to give the public a taste of what life would be like in a twisted society where women’s rights had been stripped away.

With gender equality issues regularly grabbing headlines, newspapers provided a relevant environment for the campaign to garner attention and fuel debate. A provocative Metro cover wrap interrupted commuters’ daily routines, catching them off guard with a stark message: ‘Women are not allowed to read this newspaper. Reading confuses the female mind’. Similar messaging ran across high impact DOOH sites at key commuter stations, while a full-page ad in the Evening Standard and DPS’ in female targeted national press supplements increased momentum.

By making people stop and think about what it means to live in a free society, the campaign turned series two of The Handmaid’s Tale into a triumph for Channel 4.

With so much going on in the world, it’s inevitable that we’d struggle to pick just one winner for the best topical campaign. The two winners approached news in very different ways, showing us the breadth of opportunity that newsbrands offer.

Jordi Connor, strategic planning director, Carat