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Media Creative Works Future of TV

Smash Hits makes nostalgic return in Derry Girls marketing one-shot


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

April 5, 2022 | 4 min read

Channel 4’s in-house marketing team has partnered with Smash Hits to promote the coming season of Derry Girls. The time-appropriate tie-up taps into nostalgia using a magazine the teens would have likely revered.

Derry Girls Smash Hits

More than 150,000 copies of the magazine will be distributed across the UK / Channel 4

4Creative and Channel 4 Marketing worked with Bauer Media to produce the 28-page magazine, which includes a pull-out double-page poster of the cast and classic Derry Girls-themed features such as the Biscuit Tin interview.

The 90s-inspired campaign nods to the Derry Girls’ ‘last-day-of-school’ chaos, making the end of an era for the girls and the last season of the show.

More than 150,000 copies of the magazine will be distributed across the UK. They will also be bagged up with this week’s issues of Heat and Closer, which are on newsstands today.

The work will also be supported by out-of-home (OOH) billboards and TikTok-exclusive content. Meanwhile, on Spotify the music-themed push will urge fans to make their own mixtape playlists.

Derry Girls out of home

Lynsey Atkin, executive creative director at 4Creative, said: “Smash Hits and Derry Girls is a match made in 90s heaven – both icons of their time, wildly popular and with an incorrigible urge to say what they think (even when it gets them into trouble). We have absolutely loved bringing this campaign to life; giving the Derry Girls (and the wee English fella) the full pop-star treatment and working with Bauer Media and Lisa McGee to give fans even more of Erin and the gang before school’s out for good.”

Lucie Cave, chief content officer, Bauer Media, added: “With season three of Derry Girls set in 1998, reviving our iconic 90s magazine Smash Hits for a one-off special was a no-brainer. Working incredibly close with the Channel 4 team meant that we were able to keep the energy and essence of both brands in sync throughout and ensure that the show was seamlessly woven throughout all editorial – including the fan-favorite ‘Biscuit Tin’ interview and classic ‘How to Dress Like a Pop Star.’”

Read the full issue here.

The show is reportedly Channel 4’s biggest comedy launch series of the last 18 years, but the launch comes at a time when the UK government questions the ownership of the broadcaster. It has launched a consultation into a private sale that would take it out of public ownership.

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