When we began work on 2016 Rio Paralympics campaign, we came across a shocking statistic: 67% of people in the UK felt uncomfortable talking to a disabled person.
This was an opportunity to not just promote a sporting event but use it to fundamentally change attitudes towards disability forever.
The spot is a huge celebration of ability beyond disability. Not in a cheesy way, but a real, beautiful, visceral, challenging way.
Whether you’re a double leg amputee running in the Rio Paralympics or a double arm amputee and you’ve got to brush your teeth every day, being superhuman is a state of mind.
We're The Superhumans
Behind the scenes
Superhuman Stories: Alvin Law
As part of the wider campaign, we captured the stories of our Superhumans.
Superhuman Stories: Blind Football meets Alex Brooker
Superhuman Stories: G Money meets Alex Brooker
Sign & Subtitled version
Our aim was to create the most accessible campaign ever and this signed and subtitled version was part of it.
Channel 4 Rebrand
What next for the iconic Channel 4 logo? Let’s break it apart into its individual blocks and focus on what makes up Channel 4, because it’s so much more than a number. We don’t need to tell people what they’re watching, we want to tell people why they’re watching. The blocks become free to express the channels remit; to be original, alternative, innovative, to be surprising and bold.
They flow through everything, from menu beds, idents, graphic stings. You’ll even spot them in the typeface designed by Brody Associates.
18 months of head scratching, collaborating and idea making, all squashed into a 2 minute film.
Channel 4 On-Air Rebrand
Channel 4 Off-Air Rebrand
This is probably my favourite piece of work. It’s not an ad. It’s not a program. It’s those bits between ads and programs where you hear a voiceover telling you what’s on next. It was an opportunity to say so much more about Channel 4. A brand built on taking creative risks and putting their cash back into programming. So instead of your typical voice, we hired 5 people with communication difficulties to introduce our biggest shows. What could go possibly wrong? Meet Jess and Luke with Tourettes, Matthew with a stammer, Alex who is deaf and Katie who has cerebral palsy and speaks through a voice box. All 5 are absolute stars and the new voice of Channel 4. I wrote and directed these and they’re definitely up there as some of the work I’m most proud of.
2 years later we decided to do the same again, this time casting a whole load of new continuity announcers from Britain's most diverse street, Narborough Road in Leicester. 22 different nations were represented, celebrating Britain in all its diverse glory.
Alternative Voices 1
Alternative Voices 2: Narborough Road
The Grand National isn’t all about big hats and betting, it’s a hard-core, adrenalin-fuelled, extreme sport. As part of The Original Extreme Sport campaign, I shot a series of posters with Spencer Murphy, capturing the jockeys straight after a race. This one of Katie Walsh won the Taylor Wessing portrait prize and was hung in the National Gallery. Who said advertising can’t be art?
Rather than making a sports promo for the winter Paralympics, we used the opportunity to show our support for gay athletes competing in the games after Russia’s introduction of anti-gay laws. Gay Mountain was our good luck message to everyone ‘out’ in Sochi. Meet Fred, our Russian gay bear who became the star of the campaign. It went pretty viral and was picked up by publications like the NY Times and Huffington Post. Gay Mountain was released as a free download and people were singing with pride. There were even some funny internet remakes of it. I’m particularly fond of this piece of work because I directed and CD’d it. Look out for the Putin-a-like DJ.
Posted by someone on YouTube after the spot went live
You can find out a lot about someone by the stuff they share publicity online from places like Twitter. So we thought, why not use this to our advantage in a set of spooky virals designed to get people talking about the launch of Channel 4’s dark new thriller, Utopia. They did the trick. Here’s a case study film. I know how much you like case study films.
A brand new on-screen identity for a brand new channel, 4seven, which launched in 2012.
On October 31st, a slightly altered version of the Supermarket ident aired where everyone was dead. Rest in peas.
On-screen graphics reel
A promo for an night of programmes that explored the dark and in-depth mind of a psychopath. Co-directed with Keith McCarthy.
Street Summer. A series of programmes on urban street art and music. First came the branding, then came the idea for an app that turns your iPhone into a can of spray paint using augmented reality. This meant you could graffiti any surface in real time, without the risk of being arrested. Your phone even rattled like a spray can when you shook it.
An explosion of teenage naughtiness packaged into an E4 show. The thinking was to avoid making ads and instead create something teenagers wanted to be a part of.
Rather than a film set, we held an actual house party and invited a load of cool kids. We made furniture out of breakable wood and sugar glass. The kids got stuck in and so did we with a camera wrapped in plastic so it wouldn’t get damaged. The result was noisy and authentic. This was season 1. For season 2 it was more of a reflective affair, showing the cast in a house literally falling to pieces around them. Both were directed by Neil Gorringe.
By season 2, Skins had a decent fan following, so we created The Original Article. We vacuum packed individual items from the show, with the series producers signature as certification, and gave them out to fans.
First up, Jon Snow strapped to the back of a bike being delivered personally to someone sat in a field on a smart phone. Now you know how easy it is to access Channel 4 shows wherever you might be.
Next, a brand new shop filled with Channel 4 stars, illustrating the convenience of 4OD at your fingertips. Blink and you’ll miss Miquita Oliver mopping the floor, Jon Snow stacking shelves and Krishnan Guru-Murthy playing poker with the Inbetweeners. There's even a freezer full of old archived shows like Brookside.
The Convenience Store
Jamie's School Dinners
This was the first ever ad I made at 4creative and I got to put tits on Jamie Oliver.
Cover wrap for the Observer Food Monthly.
Hunger Desserts. A dessert so good that if you were made of it you’d rather lose your limbs than stop eating it.
Rankin invited my friend, Alex Holder, and I to come up with a fantasy product for Hunger Magazine. We chose Hunger Desserts and got a hot naked model to eat her own leg made of cake.