Event TV: Channel 4 creates robotic servants store

Broadcaster Channel 4 launched a shop on London's Regent Street last Sunday (10 May) that appeared to sell a brand of robotic servants.

Shoppers could interact with a male and female 'Synth'
Shoppers could interact with a male and female 'Synth'

However the channel revealed yesterday (12 May) that the store was part of a marketing campaign designed to promote upcoming drama series Humans.

The show is set in a parallel present where the latest gadget for busy families in a 'Synth' robot, manufactured by fictional company Persona Synthetics. The store on The Crown Estate's 172-178 Regent Street is a spoof retail space for the brand.

Persona Synthetics' shop front features two interactive screens designed to showcase a male and female 3D Synth model. These employ Microsoft Kinect technology to track and interact with their audience, mimicking and reacting to their movements and sensing up to six people at a time.

The activation is being supported by a TV advertising promotion, social media activity and a digital campaign supported by eBay. The initiative was created by Channel 4 Marketing, 4Creative and OMD UK, aided by a partnership with Fuse Sport + Entertainment.

Frazer Hurrell, creative technologist at Microsoft, said: "Our collaboration with Channel 4 is a great example of how Microsoft is evolving the traditional advertising experience for consumers by combining innovative technology with creative ideas. We were able to use Kinect technology to create a unique futuristic experience, encouraging curious passers-by to interact with the Synths to unlock more information on their features.

"Microsoft is passionate about using technology as a canvas for creativity and we're always on the look-out for new ways to create engaging experiences for brands."

James Walker, Channel 4's head of marketing, added: "The world of Humans is perhaps closer than we think. 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?"

More: Event TV - Channel 4 creates 'night rainbow' for TV series launch

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