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British public spooked by mysterious virtual reality gaming innovation

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On Saturday 3rd March Channel 4 left viewers bamboozled when the broadcaster aired a brand new primetime TV ad promoting state-of-the-art tech innovation. The AzanaBand, claimed to be ‘the world's first sensory gaming device’ which simulates happiness, fear and pain.

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Channel 4 today reveals the mysterious ad marked the launch of its innovative marketing campaign, designed to generate intrigue and excitement for brand new thriller, Kiss Me First which climaxed last night with the on-air premiere of an exciting full-length trailer.

Kiss Me First tells the story of Leila, a lonely 17 year old girl who is addicted to a fictional online gaming site, and its characters who escape the everyday through virtual reality to Azana, where the possibilities are endless. The series combines live action with computer-generated virtual world sequences in a TV drama first.

Responding to a brief from Channel 4 Marketing, Channel 4’s award-winning in-house creative agency, 4Creative, worked in collaboration with media agency 0MD to create the unique campaign.

Having watched the AzanaBand TV ad, viewers were directed to Azanaband.com where they discovered that the product, worn around the neck, ‘brings virtual reality gaming to life.’ The website which has had 346,000 visits to date revealed a brief first look at Kiss Me First for those that were curious to find out more.

Building on the TV activity and website Channel 4 teamed up with Bristol based YouTube gamers Hat Films (part of The Yogscast network) who published an ‘unboxing’ video titled *REAL PAIN* in VR! on their channel of almost one million subscribers.

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This marks the first time Channel 4 has worked with influencers in this way. Watching the product unboxed on a trusted gaming channel created further ambiguity for gamers as to whether the AzanaBand was available for purchase, despite it being linked to Kiss Me First on the website.

This was further fueled by sponsored articles on popular TV, Film and Gaming entertainment site, Den of Geek that announced the ‘Mysterious new AzanaBand‘ revolutionary gaming device whilst promotional AzanaBand posters appeared in London and Manchester.

James Walker, Head of Marketing said: "The innovative use of VR gaming in Kiss Me First provided us with an exciting, creative opportunity to bring the game to life through our marketing campaign. The multi-layered approach was designed to excite gamers in the first instance and to get people talking. The campaign has been brilliantly executed by 4creative, OMD UK and our creative partners. We are thrilled with the response so far."

Alice Tonge, Head of 4Creative said: “Kiss Me First is a brilliant show with a very unique audience, so to get their attention we needed to do something innovative and different. To create intrigue, excitement and a genuine buzz around the show, we partnered with influencers and launched the AzanaBand as if it were a real-life gaming product.”

Kiss Me First is coming soon to Channel 4.

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Creative credits

Media Agency: OMD UK

Launch online media partner: Den of Geek

YouTube content: Hat Films (The Yogscast)

4Creative

Executive Creative Director: Alice Tonge

Creative Director: Eoin McLaughlin

Creative Team: Jack Croft, Stacey Bird, Anne-Grit Maier, Francesca Van Haverbeke

Director (on-air conceptual and on-air clips): James Brown

Photographer: James Day

Designer: Ollie Booth

Group Business Director: Matt Berry

Head of Production: Clare Brown

Executive Producer: Shananne Lane

Production Executive: Miketta Lane

Producer: Luke Fraser (on-air / off-air)

Christos Savvides: Senior Digital Producer

Project Manager: Olivia Emmerson

Director of Photography: Ollie Schofield

Production Designer: Daniel Wharton

Editor: James Brown

Online: Platform Post

VFX: John Cryer

Post Producer: Jackie Sanders

Audio: Ian Chatham

Social Producer: Lucy Ferguson

Social Production Assistant: Kelly Lacroix

Social Video Director: Charles Barclay

Website: Joi Polloi

Digital Display: Biborg

Retouching: Curious

Head of Marketing: James Walker

Group Marketing Manager: Nic Moran

Marketing Manager: Michelle Owusu-Aninakwah

Marketing Executive: Marcus Chamberlain

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