Digital Branded Entertainment brief 2024

What we're looking for?


Branded entertainment is a hugely exciting avenue for getting ambitious ideas made that are brand funded and designed to engage an audience through storytelling without trying to push a product or campaign message in an overt way.


We commission series and (occasional) one-off branded entertainment shows that live across Channel 4’s social platforms.


Everything we commission must fulfil three key criteria.


1. Is this a show Channel 4 wants to make?

2. Is this going to connect with and engage a social audience?

3. Does it weave in the brand, their campaign messaging and sometimes their product in a seamless way that is editorially justified?


There are three ways the briefing process works in branded entertainment.


1. We respond to brand briefs with ideas we have been pitched by an indie.

2. We share the brief with indies and select the best idea for the response.

3. We put a signed-off production out to tender and select the right indie to execute the idea.


We also have a targeted proactive strategy in which we garner the full force of our sales team to find a brand partner for an exceptional idea that we are desperate to make. Whilst there are a limited number of opportunities here, we are always keen to find the big, bold, disruptive ideas that will redefine branded entertainment in a timely and newsworthy way.


Whilst Digital Originals is laser-focused on reaching young audiences, social Branded Entertainment encompasses the broad scope of the wider Channel 4 ecosystem – we are the social equivalent of the C4 master brand.


Whilst we’ve made plenty of youth-skewing shows such as:


  • Ready Or Not – in partnership with for e.l.f. – our first branded show on Channel 4.0
  • Crowd Sauce – our vox pop gameshow created in partnership with Warner Brothers Studio Tour.


We have also made heartland Channel 4 shows such as:



There are a wealth of digital publishers that are defying traditional genres and creating new ones so don’t think TV-first when you’re looking for inspiration. Whilst Branded Entertainment can encompass any genre you might see on linear, everything we commission for must have social formatting, grammar, and sensibilities at its heart.


There are several criteria that we judge an idea on:


  • Is it pivotable? The more versatile your format the more brands we can potentially partner with. Our sweet spot are ideas with killer hook or a simple format device that can be adapted for a car brand, food brand, travel brand or finance brand.
  • Is it culturally relevant? What are the upcoming or current cultural moments that both Channel 4 and brands both want to explore? Our series, On The Money with Barclays was a proactive response to the cost of living crisis that has been a huge success. Having a reason (and a deadline) to make this show focusses everyone’s minds.
  • What makes it Channel 4? If you make a hit C4 show we would love to see ideas for a social spin-off series. If you have a niche or specialism in linear then we’d love to see what you’d do on social. If you already make Digital Originals for us, what’s the brand-friendly spin on that?


There are a few good rules of thumb to sense check whether an idea might not be brand-safe.


  • Avoid hard conflict with real world impact. Light competition is great, but avoid humiliation, revenge or unfriendly rivalries.
  • Keep it positive. Slagging off people, places or competitors leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Preferences and comparisons are great, but brands don’t want to be seen as hating on anyone.
  • Be mindful of talent and brand safety
  • Don’t develop formats tailored for specific brands
  • Don’t create anything that feels too mean, negative or conflict driven.
  • Don’t develop brand friendly ideas that could exist on any channel - we want formats that are tailor-made for a Channel 4 social audience.


We often see recurring themes and subjects such as identity, the cost of living crisis and mental health and it’s really exciting to be able to create content that aligns with Channel 4 values and that our audience are truly passionate about. Formally, there are also opportunities in branded for more artistic executions such as spoken word or animation so it’s a varied and fertile ground for creativity.

Get in touch

Digital Commissioning Editor, Branded Entertainment: Joe Churchill

Based in Bristol


Assistant: Ashanti Barrett


Senior Digital Development Executive, Branded Entertainment: Maeve McLoughlin

Based in NI and Glasgow 


Senior Digital Development Executive, Branded Entertainment: Stephen Parnell

Based in London

Digital Development Executive, Branded Entertainment: Hanzla MacDonald

Based in Leeds


Please state if you have pitched your idea to anyone else at the channel