Channel 4 launches thrilling Grand National ad campaign


Channel 4 launches a major new marketing campaign for horse racing ahead of the Grand National with a ‘roadblock’ TV ad premiere across the Channel 4 portfolio just before the 9pm programme on Tuesday 19th March 2013. (Scroll down page to see ad).

The 90 second long film promotes the most hotly anticipated date of the horseracing calendar year, with the Grand National having a reputation as the definitive test for horse and jockey. The trail sees Liverpool city take the place of Aintree’s race course and features ten horses racing through streets, allotments, back gardens, parks and ponds whilst cars, fences, park benches and a skate park take the place of legendary jumps The Chair, Becher’s Brook and Canal Turn. The new TV campaign is set to The Night Marchers’ ‘Thar she blows’ with Channel 4 racing commentator Simon Holt providing live racing commentary.

John Allison and Chris Bovill, Creative Directors, 4creative said; “We wanted to demonstrate the excitement, adrenaline and drama of horseracing, the power of the horses and the skill of the jockeys by placing a race in an everyday context that everyone can relate to.”

Commissioned by Channel 4 Marketing, Channel 4’s in house creative agency 4Creative acted as both creative agency and production company. 45 hours’ of footage was shot over two days using 44 cameras and a cast and crew of almost 300 people, including race and stunt horses and jockeys to achieve the ambitious final film.

James Walker, Channel 4 Head of Marketing said: “Channel 4 is now the home of racing and we are showing all the key racing events in 2013. The Grand National is the people’s race and we wanted to give that a particular C4 spin and make horse racing feel accessible and modern. “

4Creative worked alongside Horse masters The Devil’s Horsemen, who choreographed the stunt horses which included the horse that played Joey in Steven Spielberg’s Warhorse, as well as horses and jockeys who have featured in well-known titles including Les Miserables, Game of Thrones and The Kings’ Speech.

The TV campaign was conceived by 4Creative’s Chris Bovill, John Allison and Keith McCarthy, with Keith McCarthy directing.

The trail will be supported with a nationwide poster campaign portraying a post-race, muddied Ruby Walsh, which will provide another alternative perspective to racing – the jockeys.

4creative were responsible for the critically acclaimed Paralympics campaign Meet the Superhumans which was chosen as one of TED’s ten ‘Ads Worth Spreading’, Campaign magazine’s ’Campaign of the Year’ and recently secured 4creative three Golds at the Creative Circle awards.


Notes to Editors


Client: James Walker, Head of Marketing, Channel 4

Creative Directors: Chris Bovill, John Allison

Creatives: Chris Bovill, John Allison, Keith McCarthy

Director: Keith McCarthy

Exec Producer: Shananne Lane

Producer: Louise Oliver

Business Director: Olivia Browne

Director of Photography: Chris Sabogal

Horse Masters: Devil’s Horsemen

Production designer: Chris Lowe

Editor: Tim Hardy @ Stitch

Audio Post: Rich Martin @ Envy

Colourist: George K @ MPC

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