Turn the launch of Skins into an entertainment event for an audience increasingly spending time away from the TV.
You are a guest in the attention span of the 16-24 year old audience. Bore them and they will ruthlessly filter you out. Get it right and they will actively market to each other.
Instead of trying to interrupt what our audience was interested in, we wanted to become what they were interested in - blurring the distinction between the show and how it was marketed. We extended the show experience by allowing fans to meet and get to know the characters before a single episode had aired. We wanted to involve the audience, inviting their opinion and creativity and giving them the tools to spread their enthusiasm.
Traditionally, a TV show is advertised just two weeks before its broadcast. With Skins, we identified an opportunity to build a community of core fans to help drive positive word of mouth around the show, three months before TX.
Bespoke content experiences were given to key media partners and individual tastemakers, establishing the show's credibility and engaging potential viewers. By super-serving a small and growing community with exclusives, previews and extras, the fans gained ownership over the show, actively promoting it in their own right.
In the week before launch the show had the highest levels of awareness in Channel 4's history.
The three-minute version of the party trailer received 250,000 unique views and there were 500,000 unique users viewing myspace.com/e4skins in the month leading up to launch. During the final week the site was receiving an average of 60,000 unique visitors per day, equivalent to the Big Brother site.
Over 20,000 total friends signed up prior to the show with more than 5,000 users featuring either the Skins party trailer or banners and backgrounds on their own profiles to help promote the show. There are now over 4.3 million fans and friends of Skins across social platforms.
Since launch, we have worked on Skins for Series 2, 3 and 4. Matching the success and vigour of the launch campaign was always going to be tough, but we have successfully managed to re-capture the enthusiasm time and again; it's become the digital marketing success story of the last 5 years.
Our online strategy, marketing and creative around Skins has won nearly every award in the business. These include an IMA Grand Prix, 3 Gold IPAs, IMA effectiveness, NMA effectiveness, Guardian MEGAs, Promax design, Broadcast Digital and the Media Week awards.