E4 Stings is an annual competition organised by UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 to promote its digital arm E4 – a station freely available on cable, satellite or Freeview platforms.
Each year, creatives are challenged to make a time-sensitive ‘sting’ – an on-air ident that runs between adverts and programmes on the channel. The only requisites are a time-constraint and the need to include the E4 logo integrated into the idea.
The ident had to feed into E4’s irreverent and comic attitude and anarchic approach to promotion and can be live action, animated, 2D, 3D or 4D and backed by any budget size. As an assist, E4 provides the station logo and a choice of soundbeds to help comply with issues of copyright, although original music compositions are welcomed.A panel of independently selected judges reviews each year’s entries and a shorltist of up to 25 finalists have their E sting broadcast within the E4 schedule. In 2007, we entered the competition which had been extended to include its digital music station E4 Music and a prescribed ten second sting. We developed a 2D animation of a stylised car (drawn in the channel’s iconic purple colour) and driver. An amplifier is attached to the roof of the car which is seen driving along until its front wheel (replaced in this instance by the E4 logo) falls off and rolls away, coming to rest in the final frame. We commissioned an original electronic composition (appearing to be played from the car) whose final beats accompanied the appearance of the letters spelling out the word ‘MUSIC’ alongside the E4 logo. The sting was successfully shortlisted and broadcast across the E4 Music channel.