Channel 4 launches annual £1m giveaway

Channel 4 is to introduce a new annual competition offering up £1m in airtime to the best ad campaign idea featuring diversity, after the success of its Superhumans Wanted giveaway last year.

Maltesers: most successful campaign in ten years
Maltesers: most successful campaign in ten years

The broadcaster has committed to running an Annual Diversity in Advertising Award each year until 2020. The theme of the competition will change each year, ensuring the scheme highlights the importance of different aspects of diversity.

This year the theme is non-visible disabilities. The competition opens today and brands and their agencies have until 27 June to enter. The result will be announced in July and the winners will be on air in the autumn.

In addition to the main prize, Channel 4 will match the airtime commitment of four runners-up.

The Superhumans Wanted competition was won by Mars’ brand Maltesers and its agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO with ads that took a light-hearted view of potentially difficult situations. The resulting campaign was Maltesers’ most successful for ten years.

Jonathan Allan, sales director at Channel 4 and the chair of judges for the 2017 award, said: "Following the huge impact of our ‘We’re the superhumans’ campaign globally and the Superhumans Wanted-winning Maltesers ads, it’s important that we continue to lead the charge of championing diversity in advertising.

"Non-visible disabilities, in particular mental health, remain taboo subjects and we need to change this – both in our content and between our programmes.

"Diversity is the lifeblood of Channel 4 so by creating this annual £1m prize to inspire the best creative brains, we’re hopeful that the industry will rise to the challenges we set them to help encourage a real and lasting change to marketing strategies in the future."