Why Channel 4’s Humans is a record-breaking success

June 24th, 2015 / Leigh Campbell

Channel 4’s new original drama Humans premiered on Sunday night to a viewership of 4 million. For anyone who’s not so up on their TV statistics, that’s the highest-rated launch of any of Channel 4’s original dramas since records began. Not too shabby, in our opinion.

This surge in ratings got us wondering exactly what the team behind Humans had been up to in order to hook the interest of so many people. We took to the internet to have a poke around and discovered one of our favourite advertising campaigns of the year so far.

We’re sure that we weren’t the only ones who caught the advert for Persona Synthetics. You might have noticed that there was no mention of an actor throughout the advert. You might also have noticed that you didn’t have a clue it was an advert for a TV show until the end. In fact, the advert for the fictional company was so convincing that hoards of people took to Google to see whether it was real.

Humans Channel 4 Twitter Persona Synthetics

Image from @LizLonsdale_ on Twitter

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, watch the video below.

Just from the advert, our interest was piqued. But any good marketing team knows that online is the place to be. Humans certainly didn’t miss a trick with their fabricated eBay pages offering the chance for customers to buy their own Persona Synthetic for £20,000,000. Over 200,000 people viewed the product pages for Sally and Charlie over 72 hours (though we’re not sure how many people actually tried to buy one…)

Humans Channel 4 Persona Synthetics eBay

The Humans team continued with their online campaign, creating a fully-functional website for Persona Synthetics, alongside Twitter and Facebook accounts for the business. The website gave you the technical information for the Synths, such as their 4CX-CNS neural processors, while the Twitter and Facebook advertise features such as their “Adult Only” package, and the information that they are soon to be opening stores in Tokyo, Shanghai, and New York City.

Persona Synthetics New Store Twitter Humans

Image courtesy of @PersonaSynth on Twitter

Persona Synthetics Facebook

Image courtesty of Persona Synthetics on Facebook

If the hype wasn’t already sufficiently built, it was when they transformed the front of a Regent Street store into a Persona Synthetics outlet. The storefront utilized interactive screens to engage with passersby and encourage them to design their own Synth.

Persona Synthetics Regent Street Humans

Did you happen to see anyone carting people around the London streets in the run-up to the Humans release? Yep, they were Persona employees, and those ‘people’ were Synths.

Persona Synthetics Humans

The spike in Channel 4’s stats does not surprise us. A marketing and advertising team this dedicated campaign obviously know what they’re doing, and the numbers prove that their campaign was a huge success.

Were you one of the 4 million who tuned in to the Humans premiere? Let us know what you thought of it – and what you thought of its marketing campaign!

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