Yesterday it was announced that youth targeted channel E4 will not broadcast on May 7th, the date of the General Election. Channel 4 hopes that by taking the channel off air for the day young people, who are traditionally amongst the least likely to vote, will instead head to their local polling station to cast their vote.
Rather than its usual line up of mainly US comedies, the channel will simply display footage of “Darren” who is usually responsible for airing programmes, sitting in his control room.
This disruption will undoubtedly be costly to Channel 4 in terms of monetary losses from advertising revenue. But the channel will be hoping to meet the non-commercial objectives of its public service remit. The appropriateness of this stunt for the audience of this particular channel is key to ensuring that this is not seen as a tacky marketing stunt but as a worthwhile thing for a well meaning brand to do.
How can your organisation cause a disruption that could bring about change? Relevancy, timeliness and authenticity are key considerations key in order to remain true to your audience. Beware of gimmicks.