Code 404 is a six-part comedy series set in the near future which revolves around two Detective Inspectors, DI John Major (Daniel Mays) and DI Roy Carver (Stephen Graham), who are the top crime fighting duo in the Unit. But when an undercover sting goes horribly wrong, Major is gunned down on the job and killed. However, regarded by the department as an ‘asset’ too valuable to lose, Major’s body is fast tracked into an experimental AI project to bring him back from the dead. The only problem is whilst Major 2.0 may look and sound like the original, something has been lost in translation…
For the campaign, marketing’s proposition to us was: DI Major and Carver, half human, half AI, completely dysfunctional. Using this as our springboard, we looked into how we could strike a balance between demonstrating the AI aspect, as this is what set us apart from the other detective shows, but also landing the genre of comedy.
From a production perspective there were a fair few curveballs thrown our way, as Stephen was unable to join our first talent shoot as he had grown a goatee for another show that he was shooting, and therefore we had to shoot Danny on his own and then the pair of them together again later in the year. However, for the second shoot Danny was in a cast due to breaking his wrist a couple days before the shoot, and Stephen had longer hair and more subtle than we were anticipating, so our retouching dept had a lot more work on their hands than originally expected.
In terms of performance, the campaign aided the show in becoming Sky One’s best performing 30 minute comedy since 2011, and was an incredible effort from the whole team, so a huge thanks to everyone involved.