Channel 4 has perpetrated another unsettling, future-gazing marketing stunt in aid of its promotional efforts for Kiss Me First, a live-action thriller with computer-generated sequences targeted at gamers.
The broadcaster’s in-house creative agency, named 4Creative, rolled out an unbranded AzanaBand TV ad online. It debuted a revolutionary sensory, gaming device that gets cumbersomely latched around the user's throat.
Playing on the same sense of dystopian unease generated by the Humans campaign in 2015, the AzanaBand vowed to ‘bring virtual reality gaming to life’ by injecting experiences into the mind.
To further seed the misleading story into the public consciousness, YouTube gaming channel Hat Films unboxed the AzanaBand in a video entitled ‘*REAL PAIN* in VR!’ – marking the first time the channel has worked with influencers on such a level.
It was also seeded on the Den of Geek website with a sponsored post and spread across London and Manchester with out of home (OOH) buys.
James Walker, head of marketing at Channel 4, said: "The innovative use of VR gaming in Kiss Me First provided us with an exciting, creative opportunity to bring the game to life through our marketing campaign. The multi-layered approach was designed to excite gamers in the first instance and to get people talking. The campaign has been brilliantly executed by 4creative, OMD UK and our creative partners. We are thrilled with the response so far."
Many users and viewers were duped, or at least intrigued, which drove them to a trailer which underlined the new show.
Has anyone seen the Azana Band advert on TV?
A metal band that you wear around your neck, in order to manipulate brain activity when you're VR gaming to create an immersive experience.
This definitely isn't real/ has to be some sort of PR stunt for a show. #Azanaband pic.twitter.com/d61S2h9XMZ
— Rachel Coffey (@Rxchxll) March 3, 2018
Alice Tonge, Head of 4Creative, added: “Kiss Me First is a brilliant show with a very unique audience, so to get their attention we needed to do something innovative and different. To create intrigue, excitement and a genuine buzz around the show, we partnered with influencers and launched the AzanaBand as if it were a real-life gaming product.”
Kiss Me First will air on Channel 4 “soon”.