2018: That Was The Work That Was

20 December 2018

Its been a bumper year for W. Working across the intersection of consumer, culture and commerce we’ve delivered ‘thumb stopping’ campaigns that have made a real difference. From creating a blockbuster Christmas campaign for British Airways, Cannes Lions wins for Project 84, busting World Chess into sports and lifestyle pages, to sending Piers Morgan to hell in a Spurs shirt, here’s just some of the campaign highlights across our Creative, Brand, Digital, Enterprise and Talent divisions.

Seeing as it’s the season to be jolly, we’ll kick-off with our blockbuster Christmas campaign for British Airways, ‘A Very Kevin Christmas’.  Inspired by Home Alone 2, we took four inspiring children on a surprise trip to New York to ‘live like Kevin’. They also got the chance to star their own festive movie trailer, as well as a six minute film about their adventure and inspiring back stories.

This is our first year as the pro-bono PR partner for men’s mental health charity CALM and what a way to start. Our Project 84 work with This Morning and Adam&EveDDB generated 200,000 signatures demanding government action on the issue of male suicide. The government responded by appointing its first suicide prevention minister and saw W pickup SEVEN Cannes Lions, including two Golds, in June.

We also had a grand night at the PR Week Awards, where we brought home three gongs, received a high commendation and nominated for agency of the year. Campaign wins included Innovative Use of Social & Digital Media and Best Not-For-Profit for CALM’s L’Eau De Chris, and Best Financial Services campaign for MoneySuperMarket for Freddo-nomics. And, don’t we brush up well!

To launch PG Tips‘ new Tasty Decaf and Dairy Free we appointed Craig Revel Horwood as the brand’s new Head of Taste for an integrated PR and social campaign, including this digital ad created in-house at W. Sales targets were smashed, darling!

With the simple addition of three lion emojis we rebranded 50 Three stores nationwide to show support for the England team during Russia 2018. The Drum described it as ‘the most blatant piece of ambush marketing we’ve seen during the World Cup‘. And, yes, when England bowed out in the semis even our emojis were reduced to tears!

On a more woke football theme, W launched #WeAreFemaleFans with Carabao and This Fan Girl. Fed up of hyper sexualised images of young women (invariably Swedish or Colombian!) dominating Google search for ‘female football fans’, we captured five images of real female football fans at Wembley just before the start of the World Cup. In the space of four weeks created a social movement and a shedload of national TV and lifestyle coverage to drive our images to the top row on Google Images by the time England played Panama.

W gaveWorld Chess a 2.0 contemporary makeover, managing media for the global finals held in London. Thanks to a monumental build-up which included a five page Times Magazine feature on ‘the Beckham of chess’ Magnus Carlsen and national and global TV and print features, we turned an initial ‘not for us’ response from sports editors into lead stories in their pages for the final – including front page of the Financial Times!

Our Carabao social team made the nation’s dream come true when we sent Piers Morgan to Hell. To maximise interest in the semi-final draw for the Carabao Cup we enlisted outspoken Arsenal fan Piers Morgan and former Spurs star Peter Crouch, but with a wicked wager. With Spurs beating Arsenal playing in the quarter final on the night of the draw, Piers had to conduct the draw in a Spurs shirt and share the image on social media.

When Pot Noodle fan Alexandra Kane left Love Island, we quickly coupled her up with a new beau: Pot Rice. Launched on her Instagram channel, this digital ad racked up 1m views in the first 12 hours, cleaned up national and lifestyle coverage, and won The Grocer’s award for Best Brand Launch of 2018.

Come on, admit it. Every agency brainstorm has a ‘Why don’t we do something with Stormzy?’ moment. Well, we actually did. W worked with Spotify Premium to host Stormzy’s 25th birthday. We welcomed Stormzy’s biggest fans, fellow  artists, and invited media to fly on a private charter flight on #MerkyAirways. Their final destination was a luxury villa in Menorca for a party that was covered in the likes of Vogue, Clash and Dazed.

We weren’t just celebrating Stormzy’s birthday. After successfully delivering projects for Spotify’s Who We Be brand across live events and podcasts, W have been appointed to handle a wider brief in 2019. W will now handle ongoing media relations across Spotify’s content-led exclusives and strategic content focusses, including Spotify Singles, artist partnerships, and podcasts.

To raise awareness of the partnership between our client Unilever and the Trussell Trust we enlisted Professor Green to spend a day working as a volunteer at his local food bank in Lewisham. The initiative was covered in The Sun, Metro and made the front page of The Independent.

With many young adults either refusing to leave the nest or returning back home, our MoneySuperMarket team cleaned up with coverage with our Hotel of Mum and Dad campaign. Our research revealed 4.5m bedrooms are occupied – with only an average contribution of £6 a night  by their guests.

It’s been a year of huge growth and high impact results for our corporate, media, tech and SME division, W Enterprise: Announced the Evening Standard Progress 1000 List of London’s most influential people; Opened the Ministry of Sound’s revolutionary private members club and co-working space; Led on Trouva’s 10 million USD series A funding announcement, securing p.1 of the Sunday Times’ Business supplement”

W Enterprise supported in the launch of the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA). The then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock, and the ex-head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, opened the centre and coverage included interviews in New Statesman, profiles in Forbes and case studies in Bloomberg. LORCA was placed firmly on the map as leading the UK’s fight against cyber related threats.

To launch the new coach travel booking app from Trainline, we teamed up with producer Naughty Boy to create a killer track ‘via M40’. The musical piece lasts exactly 151 minutes to cover the entire journey from London – Birmingham and was artfully crafted using sounds captured from in and around a coach journey.

We started with Christmas, so we’ll close with Christmas. W’s Brand and Talent divisions made Winter Wonderland the number one family destination during the festive period. We started with a red-carpet celebrity preview night with appearances from Robbie and Ayda Williams, Tamara Ecclestone, and a subsequent visit from the Beckhams. Broadcast coverage included The One Show, X Factor, Sky Sports, ITV News, and six weather broadcasts on Good Morning Britain.

There’s plenty more we could’ve featured, but that’s it and thank you for actually scrolling all the way to the end. You get a gold star!

See you in 2019.