Channel 4 – Humans 2

Case study - Objective: Fame & stature


For the launch of Humans 2, Channel 4 and OMD used newsbrands to promote the series with a campaign that blurred fiction and reality.

Following on from a successful campaign for series one, Channel 4 and OMD had to come up with a completely new way to interact and engage with their target audience. Series two was about the synthetic humans becoming conscious so they opted for a highly immersive campaign.

Understanding that 83% of people trust newsbrands, and that they are effective in getting a message out quickly, Channel 4 and OMD used the platform to trick the audience by using fake print ads to launch the campaign.

In a bid to create a sense of urgency, full page ads in the guise of a product recall of ’Persona Synthetics’ ran in newsbrands, without Channel 4 branding. The print ads warned readers of ’technical difficulties’ experienced by synthetic humans and directed them to a website for more information.

Alongside the print ads, the campaign featured a conceptual TV ad announcing the ’product recall’. Social media accounts directed people to eBay, where a dedicated recall page had been set up, complete with fake reviews. Interviews with one of the show’s characters and OOH trucks also amplified the activity.

The campaign was brilliantly integrated and executed thanks to the stellar work of the teams at Channel 4, OMD and our creative partners, and succeeded in generating high anticipation for the series.

James Walker, head of marketing, Channel 4