Category C01. Use of Digital Platforms
Idea Creation LIDA London, UNITED KINGDOM
Additional Company ROYAL MAIL London, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
Ben Rhodes Royal Mail Group Marketing Director
Timothy Lees Royal Mail Marketing Manager
David Wiggin Royal Mail Strategic Communication Planning Manager
Natasha Ayivor Royal Mail PR Manager
Fraser Chisholm Royal Mail Head of Stamps Marketing
Andrew Pogson LIDA Associate Creative Director
Andy O'Carroll LIDA Associate Creative Director
Tom Thomas LIDA Chief Creative Officer
Margaux Sloan LIDA Senior Account Director
Ian Kaye LIDA Programme Director
John Dutney LIDA Senior Production Manager
Alex Mosey LIDA Strategist
Jon Chandler LIDA Technical Director

The Campaign

With a sound, style and vision so ahead of his time, many thought David Bowie had tumbled to Earth from a distant planet. So as a fitting tribute to the Starman and his role in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, we blasted the stamps into space – so they could fall back to Earth too. Social channels helped amplify news of the launch of an iconic memento far beyond the small budget available – helping us reach more than just stamp collectors. To help them feel part of the experience, social posts invited fans to watch 52 stamp sets (one for each year of Bowie’s career) travel into space and fall back to Earth. They could win these exclusive space-travelling stamps by guessing the postcode where they landed. To point them in the right direction, short Bowie-themed films were posted on Facebook as clues.

Creative Execution

Revealing the iconic stamps through a press release two months before launch ignited worldwide interest. Later when they were released in March, to extend the conversation there was really only one place to launch the David Bowie stamp collection – space. A weather balloon was used to blast 52 stamp sets 34,100 metres into the stratosphere. To capture the incredible journey into space and back to Earth – the entire flight was recorded by an onboard camera. To help Bowie fans guess where the Stamps Fell to Earth, 8 clues were posted on social channels in the form of short Bowie-themed videos. Release was staggered over a week to keep the dialogue going. The 52 winners who correctly located the landing postcode received a personalised certificate alongside one of the 52 special stamp sets, made unique with an iconic Bowie thunderbolt postmark.


From a UK-based launch, Royal Mail created a story that captured the attention of Bowie fans across the globe and The Stamps That Fell to Earth achieved over 6.6 million actual impressions. The popularity of the campaign converted the interest into click-throughs, with over 2 million visitors to the Royal Mail shop. Coverage across press & social media spanned 68 countries, resulting in orders being made from 42 countries. With 1 in 5 orders coming from outside the UK. Overall Royal Mail exceeded sales targets by 153%, and achieved an ROI of 25:1, making this tribute to the Starman one of the most successful and talked about stamp collections of all time.

To celebrate the David Bowie stamp collection Royal Mail wanted to broaden its targeting beyond traditional stamp collectors to Bowie fans too. A successful PR launch by Royal Mail’s in-house PR team got the stamps talked about across the world by publications our audience is exposed to. We identified Bowie fans via targeted social media posts. Captured their attention by telling them we’re posting the iconic stamps into space. And invited them to take part in our The Stamps That Fell to Earth competition. A data capture value exchange built our ability to carry on conversations about future stamp launches.

Stamp collecting is seen as stuck in the past and not very rock n roll. So we needed a strategy to rejuvenate the hobby and get people talking about this latest postage stamp issue. Our aim was to broaden reach far beyond traditional stamp collectors, to target Bowie fans too – both young and old. With fans spread far across the globe, the Royal Mail in-house PR team announced a launch like no other – the world’s first interstellar stamp launch. And The Stamps That fell to Earth competition captured their attention making them feel part of the experience. Targeted social media amplified our message, achieving standout with an audience that are not naturally associated with stamp collecting. By gamifying the experience and capturing data we gave fans the chance to win the Stamps That Fell to Earth and drove them to a page where they could buy the collection.