Marketing Case Study – Humans (Channel 4)

A Humans case study can be downloaded here.

Humans Marketing Campaign

Humans is a UK/US TV serial drama originally broadcast in the UK by Channel 4 in 2015. A second series followed in 2016 and third will be broadcast in 2018 . It was funded by a collaboration between UK Broadcaster/producer Channel 4, US broadcaster/producer AMC Studios and the British Independent production company Kudos. The programme is based on a successful Swedish television series.

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Humans is a sci-fi based on a future world where life-like robots (called ‘synths’) are a common feature of a near future society where they work in menial jobs or as domestic helpers.

Its engaged in an extensive marketing campaign in 2015 which generated a lot of interest. Most effective was an advert released by the (fictional) company who produced the robots – Persona Synthetics.

The advert’s verisimilitude caused some viewers to believe the advert was real (for a while). This may have been helped by a story that had been in the news shortly before the campaign launched about the production of a realistic robot.

The marketing campaign included a PR stunt where a shop front in London’s Regent Street was converted into an interactive advert for the robots and the programme.

The fact that this promotion used Kinect technology relates to the fact that the original producer of the programme was Microsoft owned Xbox Entertainment Studios. Microsoft closed the studio while Humans was in pre-production and then AMC took over the funding.

The fictional company has a Facebook account and its own website (which includes the chance to interact with a tech support synth) and the campaign generated lots of discussion on Twitter as well as in the mainstream press. Display adverts were placed online – including e-bay where a ‘buy-it now’ listing for a robot was created.

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Facebook analytics calculates the campaign’s reach

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Series 2 

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 09.14.05The second series of Humans was marketed using a ‘product’ recall from Persona Synthetics which tied in with the developing narrative of the series.

A representative of Persona Synthetics was ‘interviewed’ by a New Scientist journalist

Trucks branded as Persona Synthetics ‘synthetic human collection service’ were driven around in various locations around the country and synths were available to chat to on Facebook Messenger.

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Humans Marketing Campaign download




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