Channel 4

Clap For Our Carers

#ClapForOurCarers was a nationwide initiative for the UK public to express their gratitude to the frontline workers within the NHS, who are working tirelessly to defeat the Coronvirus pandemic. It encouraged the whole UK to go outside to their balconies, windows, doorways and porches at 8pm on Thursday 26th March and collectively applaud our new national heroes. At Channel 4, we also applaud those heroes and wanted to do something in the ad break to support.

The Big Idea

We wanted to help our advertisers show their solidarity and support for the NH, but taking over an entire ad break the next day, and give their staff a chance to applaud the nations health workers in front of an overwhelmingly engaged audience.

Devised and delivered in just a few days, this would be one of the quickest turnarounds we've ever done - not to mention a campaign which needed to be created and delivered all whilst the UK was in lockdown.

“Feeling connected to each other and being part of a shared national ‘moment’ has never felt more important and we are incredibly proud to be able to play our part in showing appreciation for the fantastic NHS. What better way to do this than by joining forces with our advertisers who have responded, at lightning speed, to create this moving commercial break.” Matt Salmon, Director of Sales, Channel 4

Making it Happen

We had a mammoth response to the initiative. 39 different advertisers, some with multiple brands, took part - each supplying 5 second of UGC footage of their employees applauding the NHS. Careful consideration was given to ensure everyone followed the social distancing guidance currently in force, and the footage was supplied in record time to our production partner, Sassy Films, who pulled the whole thing together.

The break was topped and tailed by Channel 4 introducing the initiative and thanking the brands for taking part.

The Results

The broadcast aired during Channel 4 News, which has seen huge increases in viewing since the Coronavirus crisis started. On the evening of broadcast, Channel 4 News was watched by 1.15 million viewers, up 91% on the slot average. Viewing peaked just before the #ClapForCarers break at over 1.4 million viewers, and the break itself delivered an impressive 2.25 Adult ABC1 ratings.

The break was replicated across social media, delivering almost 60,000 views and generating plenty of positive conversation amongst our audience.


According to audience research conducted around the break:

  • 62% rated the special ad takeover 4 or 5 stars
  • 72% were reminded that we are all in this together
  • 60% wanting to see more of this type of ad
  • 73% of people thought it was great to see brands doing their bit to help


As a result of watching the ad 42% said they would talk about it with others and 56% had been inspired to look into ways they could help. Read more about this research via the downloadable insight project here.