Cannes Lions

Channel 4 Handmaid's Tale

OMD UK, London / CHANNEL 4 / 2019

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Intel processors are in 80% of the world’s PCs, a category that’s seen six consecutive years of decline.

Since phones have become our favoured connected device, we don’t get excited about PCs anymore. The PC industry hasn’t helped itself either, by creating a complex chronology of hardware and meaningless jargon.

Our objective was to drive re-appraisal of Intel processors as the innovative choice, by creating awareness of the superior nature of the 8th Generation processor – in order to make it a desirable option when buying a new computer.


Nobody wants to engage in conversation about processing capabilities - it’s wallpaper. Demonstration is far more meaningful. To comprehend Intel’s value, we had to get people excited in a way that was bigger than ‘just a PC’.

Instead of communicating rational proof points we wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of Intel’s 8th Gen processor in a way our audience cared about and let them ignite the conversation for us through content designed to spark it.

That spark was football. It’s a key passion for PC considers and source of much debate. We wanted to leverage the tech truth that superior processing power has the ability to solve mysteries and in football there’s no greater mystery than what luck has done for a football team’s fortunes. The age-old argument has always been: when your team wins it’s down to skill, but when they lose it’s just bad luck. But is it?


We wanted to demonstrate the superiority of Intel’s processor and make people reappraise PC’s.

We knew that demonstration of Intel’s capabilities was more meaningful and compelling for PC considers, so showing (not telling) Intel’s processing power was vital. Our strategy was to go beyond this and use deep-data analysis and modelling of football to fuel debate.

Football provided the perfect opportunity for us because football fever was still at its peak following a triumphant World Cup for England and anticipation of the new English Premier League season was mounting.

Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) is becoming a staple in football and technology’s role in sport continues to be questioned by media and fans as a means to reduce bad or unlucky decisions, thus reducing the luck involved in results. This cultural conversation was relevant to Intel and with the support from the right partner, gave us the right to enter conversation.


We worked with the Metro, JCDecaux and Amazon to ensure our controversial format would have maximum impact.

The Metro allowed us a black, unprinted cover carrying the legend ‘Women Are Not Allowed to Read This Newspaper’ and ‘Reading Confuses the Female Mind’, both of which were hugely impactful and jarring on the underground.

Using large format digital OOH, ensured we had a second presence on the underground, with blank black screens saying only ‘The Only Job for a Woman is to Reproduce’ and ‘The City is Not Place for a Women. A Woman’s Home Is at Home’.

Finally, we made sure that we were hitting our target audience in an intimate, personal setting via our partnership with Amazon Kindle, creating a censorship message which flashed up when a female-skewing audience opened their Kindle.

We eventually revealed the truth – this was a campaign for Channel 4’s Handmaid’s Tale season 2.


The launch of the show consolidated at 2.1m viewers; that’s +22% watching over and above on a typical Sunday night and 40% over our original target of 1.5m viewers.

We hit our most relevant and hard to reach target audience, with the shows’ launch bringing in 30% more 16-54-year-old viewers than the slot norm and 65% more women.

50% of UK adults were aware that Handmaid’s S2 was returning on the day of its launch, which is extremely high for a relatively low-budget campaign - a testament to the different levels of the campaign’s placements, and the attention-grabbing, innovative formats that were used.

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