Giant Mr Darcy Launches Drama Channel

our spectacular installation in The Serpentine lands top industry awards


UKTV tasked Taylor Herring with amplifying the launch of their new channel; UKTV Drama.

The network required PR to lead the launch with the key objectives being to raise awareness of the new channel offering and drive tune in across launch week. 


How do you gain cut-through for a new channel that IS completely dedicated to classic archive programming when 150+ rival channels are all fighting for the same share of voice?   Given that we had no new commissions to use as a hook, conventional PR tactics around the use of ‘talent’ were to be discounted.


Three months ahead of launch, we gained valuable insight by polling 2000 TV viewers to name the ‘most memorable’ British drama moments of all time

The research positioned Colin Firth’s show-stealing lake scene from the BBC’s adaption of Pride & Prejudice as the most memorable moment. 

These findings combined with the fact that 2013 was the 200th anniversary of the book provided us with the key creative stimulus for our campaign


Could we bring Mr Darcy back to life and use the iconic and well-loved character to signpost the launch of Drama?

Our research provided the stimulus for a unique campaign that would combine a research story with public art to deliver incredible results pre, during and post channel launch

The campaign had 3 major elements:

1. Exploiting the content to create a national news story which would remind people of their emotional connection to ‘classic drama’

2. Bring the story to life with a stunning piece of public art

3. Tour key regions and maintain momentum via a 6 month branded partnership with the National Trust

We set out to create a series of talking points around the channel whilst ensuring that a single linear creative; ‘memorable drama moments’ permeated the campaign as a whole.  We knew that a news story around the Darcy lake scene would provide a rationale for the giant Mr Darcy build which was to follow

 A national news story was picked up widely and followed with a build of a Giant 12ft Mr Darcy in London’s Serpentine Lake on the day of launch.  Mr Darcy proceed to tour the UK before coming to rest at Lyme Park (where the scene was originally filmed) for a six month branded installation courtesy of the National Trust.

 All the installations (bar Lyme Park) were deliberately left unbranded to maximise intrigue and media pick up.



The campaign helped Drama to smash launch viewer projections by 59%

  • 750+ features and news pieces in the UK with a reach of 275,421,360
  • £9.5 Million editorial value (UK) – ROI of 126-1
  • 37.9 Million Twitter impressions in 7 days – a global top 10 twitter trend
  • 66% of people reached were aged 35+ with a female skew (target audience)
  • 99% of coverage was positive in tone
  • 99% of coverage was fully branded


Mr Darcy remains at Lyme Park until February 2014, alongside a plaque that promotes the Drama channel.  Lyme Park has promoted the build to over 1 Million National Trust members and predicts that there will be over 100,000 visitors during Mr Darcy’s six month tenure in the lake.