Category E01. Mobile Games
Name Company Position
Irina Rapiy Havas Media London Senior Global Marketing Manager
Sophie Moore Havas Media London Business Director
Sayuri Barakan Havas Media UK Senior account Manager

The Campaign

Partnering with urban cycling program Buzzbike, we created The Tour de Tech, the first-ever virtual bike race using real bikes. 50 of London’s most innovative companies were given Braintree branded bikes that connected to the custom-built Tour de Tech app via Bluetooth. A six-month bike race, the Tour de Tech took riders on a virtual route around the UK, without ever having to leave London. The race was divided into six month-long stages, each representing a leg between two cities in the UK. Companies cycled as teams, and the first to collectively bike the miles of a leg won that stage, and a prize, such as in-house massages, for their office. With three stage parties to network, share the Braintree story, and award prizes we helped fuel the community and the competition. The overall winning company won a multichannel ad campaign worth £50k to help their business grow.

Creative Execution

What began as a simple branded bicycle turned into a six-month long competition. Buzzbike provided the bikes and the framework for the app. We built the 360-experience and race structure around it all. 200 riders raced from October 2016 to April 2017, using the Tour de Tech app to track their progress. Riders could watch the leaderboard move in real time, motivating the competition. For teams that trailed, we incentivized them to keep riding with individual performance badges and prizes to go along with them. App data tracked the routes our riders took in the city, allowing us to position outdoor posters where they would be seen, cheering them on. And the bikes themselves served as outdoor billboards, showcasing the Braintree logo around London. Parties were hosted at the race launch, midpoint, and final stage to raise the excitement and create relationships between team’s and Braintree.

In six months, Braintree went from having little awareness with this audience to having a highly engaged community at the heart of London’s tech scene. Engagement with the Tour de Tech remained consistent over all six months, resulting in 50,000 cumulative miles biked by all riders. Average app engagement was 229 minutes per rider. But it wasn’t just digital engagement. On the final night of the race, with three teams vying for the grand prize, 12 riders went out at midnight to race for the title of champion. Our audience loved what they learned about us and consideration for Braintree among the 200 riders increased by over 70%. They also talked about their positive experience, generating over 1 million organic social impressions. Most importantly, there was meaningful business impact. The Tour de Tech generated £120M in high growth sales leads, 20% of our annual target from a single campaign.

Getting the attention of hot start-ups is no simple feat. Everyone wants of piece of them. Instead of traditional B2B marketing methods like cold calls or boring sales pitches, we created an experience that fit seamlessly into their lifestyle. Our strategy was to reach out to the top 50 London-based companies that were mobile-first and growing rapidly. By creating a mobile-driven experience, we proved our digital chops. By weaving a seamless experience into their daily commute, we proved our mission of low friction payments. And by creating a race with employee-minded prizes, we appealed to their competitive spirit and showed that we care not only about their business, but their work culture as well. With the Tour de Tech, we created a long-term engagement to “court” these companies while connecting with a community of likeminded individuals in a uniquely innovative way.