Cat Velez - 20th July 2015

Years & Years and director Fred Rowson have created a bit of history with their interactive three-sided video for Shine, which took over a complete ad break of primetime TV on Channel 4, and has become the TV network's most interacted-with ad ever. 

Devised by Colonel Blimp, Polydor Records and Channel 4 to advertise the launch of Years & Years' debut album Communion, this innovative, interactive TV ad-turned-video took over an entire four-minute break during C4s big-ratings panel show 8 out of 10 Cats at 21.50 on Friday July 10th, and then allowed viewers to direct what they were seeing on their TV screens via a live Twitter vote.

By tweeting #ChooseLight, #ChooseDark or #ChooseShadow every 30 seconds the audience determined which one of three eye-catching videos would appear on screen in the next 30 second section, placing control of the break into the viewer’s hands. Voters Twitter names were also displayed on screen as the advert ran.

The event was a broadcasting first, and a huge success. Close to 14K tweets were received during the 'live' broadcast of the video - and the ad break pulled in more viewers than the show itself. One of the voting hashtags #ChooseShine trended in the UK during this time. Consequently, this has been Channel 4's most interacted with ever – more than the Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Prometheus and Honda interactive adverts that they have previously run.

It was a sensational result after a very demanding process in which Fred Rowson had to create three complete performance videos within an 8am-10pm shooting day. But in addition to the three videos Fred was also able to direct the live ad break in the control room at Channel 4.

Watch 'Years & Years 'Shine' (interactive ad/video) by Fred Rowson' here

PRO Credits


DirectorFred Rowson
Producer CompanyColonel Blimp
Executive ProducerPaul Weston
Production CompanyColonel Blimp
AgencyThe Outfit UK
1st ADKerry Green
Director of PhotographyBen Todd
SteadicamAndrew Fletcher
EditorRyan Beck
Art DirectionOliver Hogan
StylistHannah Hopkins
Stylist (Artist)Coline Bach
ChoreographySupple Nam
2nd ACEira Wyn Jones
Other creditsAgency Team: Anneka Bunnag, Gemma Crawley, Becky Maynard, Hannah Dale, Benedict Smith Marketing Mangers: Jack Melhuish, Olly Rice

Cat Velez - 20th July 2015

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