Comedy Central promotes its new 'Friends'

Comedy Central is set to launch an ad campaign to promote the arrival of the popular US sitcom 'Friends', which moves from Channel 4 to the pay-TV channel next Saturday (1 October).

The TV ad features a new version of the show's theme tune written and performed by musician and comedian Steve Seller, to highlight that ‘Friends’ has a new home and is now available in native high definition.

The ad, which was made in-house, will air on More4, Film4, the BSkyB portfolio and ITV2 from today (23 September). The Comedy Central idents will be based around 'Friends’ and friendship throughout October.

The copywriters and art directors were Comedy Central marketing director Bill Griffin and Comedy Central creative director Will Clark. The TV ad was directed by Steven Seller, with post production in-house and audio post production by Side UK.

The campaign, planned and bought by Equinox, will also include print ads in the run-up to the launch of the show, in magazines such as Heat, Stylist, Now and Closer, and the free Metro newspaper. Over the past few weeks, Comedy Central has been counting down the days to 1 October by showing 30-second snippets of some of the most memorable scenes from the 10-season series.

Griffin said: "'Friends' is genius and everyone loves it. I know that sounds smug, but it's true. So our aim with this activity is simple – to let the world know that this iconic show has a new home."

Comedy Central has also been using paid search to target users wanting to watch full episodes, and the 1.8 million UK 'Friends' fans on the official Warner Bros Facebook page, to encourage them to visit the Comedy Central site to see exclusive bloopers.

'Friends' kicks off on 1 October with the top 50 episodes chosen by the Comedy Central’s workforce, and then the show’s regular time slot will be 5pm and 8pm on weeknights from 3 October.

Throughout October and November, standalone events and initiatives will aim to keep the relationship between 'Friends' and Comedy Central front of mind, including a Comedy Central Friends Gala for fans and press.

On Tuesday (20 September), Ashton Kutcher's arrival as Charlie Sheen's replacement in 'Two and a Half Men' set a record audience for the channel. The show had an average audience of 803,000 viewers between 9pm and 9.30pm.