Channel 4 streaming campaign parodies appeal of global content


UK broadcaster Channel 4 has launched a new marketing campaign to highlight the strength of its streaming platform as a hub for local, UK-relevant content, constrasting this with the ‘global’ content made by international streamers.

According to the broadcaster, the “tongue-in-cheek” campaign will highlight Channel 4’s entertainment offering by reimagining iconic Channel 4 shows as if they were made for a global streaming audience rather than – as is the case – an exclusively British one.

The campaign kicks off with a 90-second and 60-second second film, with additional 40-second and 20-second second versions running from June 24. The film features an extensive cast of Channel 4 talent including channel personalities Paul Hollywood, Keith Brymer Jones, Rich Miller, Siobhán McSweeney, Ade Adepitan, Ellie Simmonds, Greg Davies, Alex Horne, Munya Chawawa, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Sophie Sandiford and Pete Sandiford.

Set in an imaginary boardroom, the film starts with two cross-Atlantic visitors presenting a new vision for Channel 4’s streaming platform, which they believe needs a little ‘zhuzh’. This includees the presntation of a montage of Channel 4 shows play out as large-scale productions targeted at a generic global audience.

According to C4, the montage includes a rendition of the show Derry Girls reimagined as popular teens in a cliched high school comedy; a Great British Bake-Off spin-off show where presenter Paul Hollywood reviews his old handshakes; and ‘Höllioåxs’ where soap opera Hollyoaks is re-envisioned as an serious Scandinavian thriller.

The film concludes back in the boardroom, where the two  presenters ask for feedback on their “vision”. It is then revealed that sitting across the room are two reviewers featured on C4’s Gogglebox show, which follows members of the public asked to review content from their living room. The two reviewers in this case declare that what they’ve seen is “rubbish mate”.

The film then ends with the tagline: “Sick of everything feeling the same? Stream altogether different shows on Channel 4.”

The campaign follows Channel 4’s  recent brand revamp, which saw the broadcaster highlight its streaming-first commitment by bringing all its digital, social, and linear channels together under one single brand, dropping the previous All 4 brand in favour of the universal ‘Channel 4’ brand.

Lynsey Atkin, executive creative director, 4creative, said: “One of the many brilliant things about Channel 4 is that its shows are distinctly British. What a gloriously fun thing it has been for the team to turn all of this wonderful nuance into brash, bold, ‘generic nonsense.’ Long live sweary nuns, independent journalism and Tony from Hollyoaks exactly as he is.”

Iain Walters, head of marketing for streaming, Channel 4, said: “We know that people want original and different content, and that’s why they love Channel 4. This campaign is a mischievous take on things, to show just how ‘rubbish’ it would be if our shows were a bit globalised and the same-same, and how altogether Different Channel 4’s streaming service really is.”

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