Rebecca Caroe

Bite2: Channel 4, UK Tribes – Mapping Out Youth Culture

Posted by April 2, 2008
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Stephanie Matthews and Ed Couchman – Channel 4

The Channel 4 proposition depends heavily on the 16-24 demographic. They needed research to enable improved alignment with this audience. They want to plug into network culture and found three main ways that define each group, Music, Fashion and
The Qualitative research – Described 23 youth “Tribes”
there are three major groups: Indie Kids (into music); Trendys (into fashion), Townies (mainstream and no real passion).

The results of the research are up at [login: Agency, password: tribes45]. There is a mini site for each tribe group.
The Quantitative research – developed in order to court advertisers. C4 created an online game and seeded this onto tribe websites using editorial. It asks tribe-defining questions. 64,000 players did the game and 50% agreed with the output ‘group’ it suggested for them.

It delivered tribal profiles for 250 brands including spend levels, technology usage and media preferences. I liked the questions “Nike – love it or loath it”. It really does define boundaries accurately – like any good golden question.

Some of the output was fabulous, including a ‘map’ of the UK terrestrial channel viewing, the ability for you to download brand maps for the tribe groups [on the tribes website above]. And that goths love Irn Bru (!).

They also found that this age group uses online and TV viewing simultaneously-= 29% SMS friends while watching a programme and of this group 75% are talking about the programme.

This knowledge is being used to shape comms plans and youth strategic thinking and programming commissions.

Ed works in New media and has a brief to “monetise” C4. He is working on Anytime, anywhere TV; moving C4 from broadcasting to engaging; and making it relevant. Overall aim is to bind advertising to content wherever it goes.

Programmes now all have official sites, related sites, bite sized downloads, podcasts. Recent campaign around “Skins” there were 60,000 MySpace friends, they seeded 3 x 10 mini episodes there and shared episode one 24 hours early on It enabled the series to gain traction with key audiences.

New sites for C4 – on demand video free content and to enable catch-up. Advertising funded. Gets 250,000 views per week. – launched Jan 08 – for the social networking generation – property – launching June 08 for the olympic sports (cycling, shooting)
4mations – animation website with Nick Park

Project Kangaroo is the latest new project, a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, ITV and C4. It provides aggregated content to a single site from each broadcaster, simple to use, advertising funded and will launch Autumn 2008.

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