Robotic ruse

15.05.2015 Channel 4 : Humans : Advertising
Persona Synthetics advertisement for Humans on Channel 4, UK

London – Adverts for a new type of synthetic human had social media in a flush this week, before the campaign was revealed to be a clever ruse for a new tv show.

  • By 12 May the website for Persona Synthetics had received 423,000 visits
  • Campaign was developed by Channel 4 Marketing, 4Creative and media agency OMD UK

To advertise its latest drama, Humans, Channel 4 built an entire campaign dedicated to making the technology seem a reality. A website for technologists Persona Synthetics, newspaper ads showing off the latest in personal assistant robotics and a Regent Street store front all conspired to persuade people that they could buy an android for real. The first tv spot was broadcast during an ad break for Prometheus, a film that employed a similar marketing approach, creating a fake TED Talk set in the year 2023 and a website for Weyland Industries and a corporate video for its humanoid David.

The Big Picture: Brands are adapting the techniques pioneered by Orson Welles and The Blair Witch Project for the social media age. Read our Faction Marketing macrotrend on blurring the narratives of fact and fiction. 

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