Channel 4 behind 'synthetic human' robot stunt

Channel 4 has revealed it was behind a stunt promoting the sale of "synthetic humans" in London this week.

Channel 4: campaign involves pop-up shop for pseudo robot manufacturer
Channel 4: campaign involves pop-up shop for pseudo robot manufacturer

The TV channel created a pseudo brand called "Persona Synthetics" and opened a shop in Regent Street on Sunday, offering consumers the chance to bid on synthetic human robots - called 'synths'.

The stunt timed with the release of a TV ad to promote new drama 'Humans'. Channel 4 claimed the stunt had whipped up a social media furore, trending on Google UK. The push is being supported with the hashtag #Humans.

Two-metre high robots placed behind the pop-up shop window were built using Microsoft Kinect technology that could mimic and react to the movements of passers-by. The robots will remain at 172-178 Regent Street until 17 May.

The drama is set in a parallel present day, where 'synths' are a must-have gadget.

"The world of Humans is perhaps closer than we think," said Channel 4 head of marketing, James Walker.

"This campaign seeks to engage viewers in a mischievous way with the questions the series raises about artificial intelligence: How will AI affect our relationship with technology and each other? Would you buy a Synth to be a part of your family?" 

The brand has also created a fictitious website and social media presence for the "robot manufacturer" Persona Synthetics.

Brand: Channel 4 

Agency: Channel 4 in house, 4 Creative, OMD UK


Become a member of Campaign from just £78 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content

The future's bright, the future's Gold

8 ways that media can drive ecommerce


Job description: Marketing co-ordinator

10 takeaways from a decade of DOOH