C4 to screen vintage ads as it celebrates 25 years

Old BT, Carlsberg and COI work to be revived to mark Channel 4's anniversary.

Advertisers including BT, Carlsberg, COI, Disney and Iceland are backing Channel 4's 25th anniversary by running retro ads from 25 years ago alongside their latest campaigns.

The ads will run on Saturday night (3 November) around the broadcaster's celebratory Channel 4 at 25 show. The station has sold the idea of each advertiser running a current spot back-to-back with a campaign that ran 25 years ago.

BT's iconic Buzby campaign will run alongside its current BT Vision work, while Carlsberg plans to run its old "make up your own mind" spot, voiced by Orson Welles. COI will run a teenage road safety ad from 1982 alongside the current work.

When Channel 4 launched on 2 November 1982, its first ad, which aired during an afternoon ad break in Countdown, was for Vauxhall.

The broadcaster is also marking the 25th anniversary of its film production arm Film4 with a series of screenings of major films in cinemas. In association with Pearl & Dean, FilmFour, the digital film channel, is showing films including The Last King of Scotland, Sexy Beast and Secrets & Lies at independent cinemas in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol.

Channel 4's retro ads initiative is the latest in a series of attempts to increase viewer engagement while building revenues.

On FilmFour, it has replicated the cinema "gold spot" idea by selling an entire break to one advertiser before the 9pm film each day. BMW is the current advertiser.

It also developed an ad break around its series Dumped, which solely featured ads from brands with environmental messages. These included HSBC, Saab and Lenor.

- Media forum, page 14.