Highlife

To help Google launch its Pixel 6 in the U.K., we co-created a ground-breaking partnership around “Highlife,” the first-ever Black British Reality TV show.

Sector: ToolsBrand:Google

Challenge

Reality shows are the most-watched TV programming in the U.K. But, year after year, the casts look pretty similar.

For the launch of Pixel 6, a phone known for progress, Google saw a chance to change that and drive consideration while demonstrating its values of showing Black representation and excellence in media.

Idea

Partnering with Channel 4, Google, EssenceMediacom and other agency partners, we fused Pixel 6 into a fully integrated campaign around a new 4 part “docuality” format called “Highlife” created and produced by Optomen Television and CR8TIVE ROW that followed the lives and loves of a group of ambitious, glamorous, young British West Africans who were all chasing their own ideas of success.

We developed an accompanying five part social series “Picture This,” where select series cast members explained what concepts like “tradition” meant to them by taking a picture on their Pixel. This gave cast members extra space to discuss their life experiences and worldviews outside of the reality show format.

For contextual ads and organic social, we asked Black British comedy talent questions about their lives and culture aligning with Pixel 6’s progressive nature. All elements of the partnership worked to hero the show and further promote positive representation.

Results

“Highlife” and the adjacent campaign didn’t just buck the trend of who Reality TV represented but how, changing the narrative of Black Britain and making sure Black British voices are at the center of culture like never before.

It became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter and was Channel 4’s largest-ever branded entertainment series, driving 6.1k social media mentions and more than 47 million impressions globally. Reaching 1.6 million viewers, it won the Friday 10pm slot with 21% (87K) of 16-34 adults watching.

For the Pixel 6, the campaign led to 6.8% uplift in consideration and a whopping 20% lift in unaided awareness. Subsequent surveys showed 7.5% uplift for Pixel inspiring change, 8% uplift for being committed to racial equality, and 10.2% for diverse and inclusive brand.