A Creepy Product Recall Promotes Channel 4's Second Season of AI Drama 'Humans'

Campaign Includes Live Chatting With a 'Synth' Via Facebook Messenger

Published On
Sep 29, 2016

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The U.K.'s Channel 4 is promoting the second series of its critically acclaimed AI drama "Humans" with a campaign that includes a fake "product recall" for the "Synths," or synthetic humans, around which it centers.

The broadcaster, which introduced the first series with a fake storefront in central London, has been running ads branded with the fictional "Persona Synthetics" company logo in print media and on TV announcing a recall for all "synths," encouraging people to return their Synths following "technical difficulties." The ads encourage people to visit the Persona Synthetics product recall website to find out more.

A tie-up with Facebook Messenger features a Messenger bot posing as a malfunctioning Synth, which interacts with users online to find out how their synths have been performing. Channel 4 partnered with Facebook's Creative Shop to create the bot, which it says is the first ever AI created for purely entertainment purposes in Europe.

Other elements of the campaign include a fleet of Persona Synthetics-branded vans that have been dispatched to city centers from London to Glasgow to pick up faulty Synths as part of the product recall. Personalized emails have been sent to Channel 4's registered users requesting they return their Synth, and a bespoke Product Safety Recall page has been created for eBay.

Channel 4 also teamed up with the "New Scientist" magazine to create online content featuring an interview between Editor-in-Chief Sumit Paul-Choudhury and a Persona Synthetics spokesman about the recall.

The campaign, by 4Creative, is running ahead of the U.K. Season Two premiere of "Humans' in October. The series has been shown on AMC in the U.S.


Sep 29, 2016
Brand :
Channel 4
Client :
Channel 4
Agency :
Executive Creative Director :
Chris Bovill
Executive Creative Director :
John Allison
Executive Producer :
Shananne Lane
Head of Production :
Clare Brown
Senior Art Director :
Jim Chambers
Creative :
Tom Espezel-Bentley
Creative :
Nina Beyers
Director :
Alex Boutell
Senior On-Air Producer :
Fiona Wright
Off-Air Producer :
Simon Pederson
Senior Digital Producer :
Christos Savvides
Project Manager :
Olivia Emmerson
Design :
Aimi Awang
Design :
Jacob Vanderkar
Design :
Chris Rice
Head of Marketing :
James Walker
Deputy Head of Marketing :
Laura Ward
Marketing Manager :
Michelle Owusu
Director, Photography :
Matt Fox
Production Designer :
Simon Davis
Editor :
Nick Allix
Editorial Company :
The Playroom
Grade :
George K
Color :
Visual Effects Company :
The Flying Colour Company
Visual Effects Company :
Smoke & Mirrors
Photographer :
Andy Lo Pò
Digital Production Partner :
Sound Design :
Rich Martin
Sound Design :
Bot Development :
Pull String

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