Instagram and Channel 4 tie up for ‘world’s first’ real-time social reality series

Produced by broadcaster’s branded entertainment team at 4Studio.

Instagram: the real-life cast of Channel 4-produced social series 'You Do You'
Instagram: the real-life cast of Channel 4-produced social series 'You Do You'

Channel 4 and Instagram have teamed up to produce what they describe as the world's first real-time social reality series, You Do You.

The digital-only series, which Campaign alluded to in September, will run entirely on Instagram from today (11 November) – on Channel 4's Instagram Reels, Stories and In-Feeds, with each 10-minute episode running as an IG Video. The campaign is part of the Facebook-owned social platform's "Yours to make" global brand platform and is designed to demonstrate how young people can use Instagram to connect with one another and express themselves artistically.

Set in Manchester, it follows the lives of Sindysplace, a collective of creators – "artists, lovers collaborators and best friends".

The series has been created by 4Studio's branded entertainment team and produced by Interstellar in partnership with Instagram.

The digital-only content will run across four episodes, documenting Sindysplace's lives on the Manchester youth scene, where they create music, design clothes, produce artwork and host exclusive events. Members of the collective include Sindysman a 23-year-old rapper, and China-Lilly, a 23-year-old singer-songwriter.

"Yours to make" is being promoted across an array of media, including nation-wide digital out-of-home, contextual digital and video ads, a branded partnership with youth culture channel Dazed and experiential activity with Gen Z-ers.

You Do You has been commissioned by Channel 4 digital commissioning executive Joe Churchill. He worked with 4Studio group content manager Jodie Miles, who brokered the partnership with Instagram's media agency, Mindshare.

David Amodio, deputy head of digital innovation and 4Studio, said: "We're really excited to reveal You Do You, an exciting first of its kind partnership with Instagram, made exclusively for Channel 4's Instagram channel. 4Studio continues to lead the reinvention of branded social entertainment – from drama and documentaries to comedy and entertainment and now reality, pushing boundaries with bold brand partners whilst accelerating Channel 4's digital growth."

Jason Miller, Instagram's EMEA consumer marketing manager, added: "We are delighted to partner with Channel 4 as part of the 'Yours to make' brand campaign and to bring You Do You to an exclusively Instagram audience.

"The show is a celebration of British youth culture and the young people that continue to explore and experiment with who they are through Instagram. We can't wait for audiences to be introduced to the characters and watch their individual journeys as they navigate life and pursue their passions."

Ross Minton, Mindshare's head of invention, commended Channel 4's "ability to deliver ground breaking, provocative content at scale".

He added: "This is a short-form social reality series made for social, it is unique and therefore hugely disruptive. Crucially, it engages this audience in a genuine and authentic way, with Instagram as the central vehicle for the story."

Churchill described You Do You as "not just about great Gen Z characters, it's shot through with their DIY, mixed media approach to creativity".

He continued: "Instagram is almost another character in the series and it is particularly exciting to see a story play out across their real and digital worlds. It's new and it's fresh and we can't wait for our social audiences to discover it."

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