4's new drama, Humans, is one that will likely be banned when the new government get the data-privacy powers they want… but anyway…!
Humans is a 1984-esque story of normal British families welcoming androids which are said to be "closer to humans than ever before", into their homes. It's a scary thought, emphasised by soundbites from the trailer like "I'm watching you too…" Set in the near future, it's very close to home—and rather reminiscent of some of Charlie Brookers' Black Mirror episodes.
To promote the series, 4 Creative have made some very convincing ads for the fictional company, Persona Synthetics, who make these household robots. Aiming to persuade you to buy one for yourself, the films leave you feeling rather uncomfortable. The idea that these iRobot beasts of the future can be real and available to the mass market, here and now, seems unfathomable and incredibly scary—at least to me! And that's what 4 play on.
The fake ad features no Channel 4 logo, and even closes with"Regent Street Store Opening Soon" (the fake store actually exists). The phony website also keeps the fact it's an ad for a Channel 4 program secret until you reach the bottom. Very fun and very clever advertising!