Channel 4 launches its first Christmas brand campaign, #MerryDifferent

Channel 4’s Christmas campaign raises a smile and encourages everyone to be a little more accepting of each other

Channel 4’s first ever Christmas brand campaign reflects what a difficult and challenging year 2020 has been while also raising a smile and encouraging everyone to be a little more accepting of each other.

Launched on 11 December, just before Gogglebox at 9pm, the campaign includes a voice over by Matt Lucas of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off.

It opens with Santa’s Head Elf breaking the disturbing news to his unusual office co-workers that, given everything that is happening, Santa is thinking about cancelling Christmas.

Upon turning to his co-workers (The Holiday Mascots comprising of the Easter Bunny; Tooth Fairy; St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun; Cupid and the Halloween Ghost) and asking them for ideas, the group descends into a bickering row as they argue how best to ensure Christmas goes ahead.

But a sense of calm is restored thanks to the appearance of a surprising and lesser-known character – The Pancake Day Pancake – who encourages the assembled mascots to see their different points of view as a positive, reminding everyone that we’re at our best when we appreciate one another for who we are as individuals.

Channel 4’s Chief Marketing Officer Zaid Al-Qassab said: “Channel 4 is here to ensure alternative voices are heard, which reflect an inclusive modern Britain. We think our family of holiday mascots is a fitting reflection of the diversity of many British families doing their best in difficult circumstances this Christmas season.”

4Creative’s Executive Creative Director Lynsey Atkin said: “Whether a work crisis meeting or an at-home kitchen meltdown, we’ve all had a moment this year where things have felt almost impossible. Even the things we love the most, like Christmas. But in the hardest of times comes hope. Admittedly, it may not always be pancake shaped, but it’s often those with a different perspective from ourselves, who can help us find a way. Channel 4 wishes everyone a very merry different Christmas.”

The campaign, #MerryDifferent, was created by Channel 4’s in-house multi-award-winning creative team, 4Creative and directed by Jeff Low and David Kolbusz through Biscuit Filmworks.

#MerryDifferent will launch across the Channel 4 network, as well as social channels, including Facebook, Instagram Stories, YouTube and All 4.

Since the start of the Covid pandemic Channel 4 has sought to entertain audiences in a useful way, creating refreshing, irreverent and distinctive brand messages that reflect the mood of the nation and provide a counterpoint to the challenges everyone has faced this year.

Campaigns have included the #StayAtHome campaign with ‘We Need Your Butt’ and after the first lockdown Channel 4 encouraged people to #BeMoreRainbow with an inclusive campaign that urged everyone to show a little kindness as everybody did their best to stay safe over the summer.

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