Channel 4 to switch off E4 in General Election campaign

Channel 4 is set to turn off E4 for a day in a bid to get young people to vote.

E4 is the number one digital channel for 16-to-34 year old viewers, commanding a 5.20 per cent share of the young demographic.

However, less than half of under-25s voted at the last election. “So we’ve engaged the most powerful weapon that we have at our disposal to try and boost that number – switching off their favourite TV channel for the day.” said Channel 4 chief marketing officer Dan Brooke.

The broadcaster is readying its audience with a TV campaign, launched today (22 April), to explain that when polling stations open at 7am on 7 May E4 will be switched off. The spot features a man called Darren who is “in charge” of keeping E4 turned on. Viewers tuning in on the day will see Darren manning the control room in place of the usual schedule.

It forms part of a wider push by Channel 4 to motive young voters to engage in the general election.

Earlier this month, it launched a campaign that showed young people how to register to vote online. It will also remind them to turn out on polling day through a series of free personalised SMS messages. Next week, it will stream the first ever Youth Leaders’ Debate which will see seven youth party leaders debate the key issues for young voters.

As part of a longer term strategy to target the 16-34 year old demographic, the broadcaster is on Tumblr with a new online news platform, 4NewsWall. Daily content will be delivered in shareable GIF formats. When users click the GIFs they are taken through to a longer précis of the story where they can link back to the Channel 4 News website and other online news sources.

4Creative’s Jack Croft and Stacey Bird developed the platform alongside 4creative’s illustrator and designer Chris Rice.

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