2021 Social & Influencer


Category D07. Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility
Media Placement ESSENCE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Post Production THE MILL London, UNITED KINGDOM
Post Production 2 FACTORY London, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
Guillermo Vega Saatchi & Saatchi Chief Creative Officer
Will John Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director
William Brookwell Saatchi & Saatchi Copywriter
Nathan Crawford Saatchi & Saatchi Art Director
Alex Kosterman Saatchi & Saatchi Social Creative
Katy Stanage Saatchi & Saatchi Creative
Fabiano Gomes Saatchi & Saatchi Creative
Nick Roberts Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Emmet O'Shea Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Steve Tinkler Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Amy Fry Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Jamie Wilson Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Marco Balducci Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Marcos Almeida Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Georgie Ford Saatchi & Saatchi Agency Producer
Felicity Cruickshank Saatchi & Saatchi Agency Producer
Jeremy Sharman Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Producer
Laura Francis Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Producer
Matilda Finn Stink Studios Director
James Waters Stink Studios Producer
James Blann Freelance DOP Lighting Cameraman
Jon Tapper Saatchi & Saatchi Managing Partner
Richard Sweetman Saatchi & Saatchi Business Leader
Fergus Waddell Saatchi & Saatchi Business Leader
Gabi Dwek Saatchi & Saatchi Account Manager
Richard Huntingdon Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman & CSO
Ed Hayne Saatchi & Saatchi Planner
Mathieu Abet Saatchi & Saatchi Planner
Ciaran McManus Saatchi & Saatchi Planner
Shamil Tanna Freelance Photographer
Chris Styring Saatchi & Saatchi Agency Producer

Why is this work relevant for Social & Influencer?

Social media was central to the very ambition of this campaign. We sought to change people’s behaviour on social itself, so it was imperative that we met our audience where it was all happening, using influential social voices and social-first content. It was driven at its core by the authority, authenticity and influence of our partner talent, football players who put rivalries aside to come together in a powerful display of unity. And to support them, social-first content delivered in-channel educational content to truly empower social users to speak up, skill up and take action.


Discrimination and abuse have always been a stain on football, but social media has given racists, sexists and homophobes a new platform to spread hateful language and even send death threats. As a digital business, our client’s ambition is to remove barriers to connectivity, building better digital lives for all. This, plus their position as a key sponsor of the Home Nations football teams, gave them the license and authority to speak out on the harrowing matter of abuse on social media. The brief therefore was to create something beyond mere shirt sponsorship. It was to find a genuine alignment in ideals that could truly make a difference, tap into culture, and flex into any social touchpoint where we could reach fans. The overall objective was twofold: reduce the volume of social media hate and drown out the hate remaining with a groundswell of national positivity.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

We founded Hope United, online hate’s greatest opponent - a squad assembled from the best and most influential footballers from across the UK. Our players know the problem of online hate intimately. They feel it with the slew of mentions and tags that come with every missed shot, every bad performance, and every red card. So, as legitimate and relatable voices of authority on the subject, they would serve as our credible mouthpiece to deliver a rallying cry to the nation to stand up for hope and fight online hate. And most importantly, they would empower the public too by providing the practical knowledge and social media skills needed to make it happen.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

As a stain on our society, online hate affects us all. Our goal therefore was to speak to the entire country. To do so, we constructed a momentum-building three phase approach: Launch Hope United - rally the nation to fight online abuse, with ATL comms working in tandem with coordinated influencer support and social video to push our manifesto at large, creating the ideal conditions for our educational content. Learn from Hope United - upskill the nation with social media skills, using our players as the nation’s relatable teachers. Inspired by microlearning trends and patterns of information sharing seen during Black Lives Matter, we would use punchy social video as well as innovative formats like polls and carousels. Support Hope United - enable the nation to advocate the cause with a visual pledge they could share to their Twitter and Instagram profiles, seeded by our core talent and wider influencers.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

With the goal of creating a countrywide social conversation, we looked towards the summer’s biggest mass cultural event – EURO 2020. Launched initially during the Champions League final, our social-first manifesto was pushed out by our squad as well as further talent from TV, music and social creators. The social buzz created fertile conditions for our content of Hope - 40 different micro lessons hosted by the squad. The momentum was sustained into the EUROs with activity upweighted around tentpole moments, with our planned educational content being enhanced with reactive in-game and in-tournament social content, delivered daily by our internal BEAT process that combines news tracking and social listening to create content on the pulse of the conversation. An agile media set up ensured we were always in the conversation as it was happening, going live in social as soon as players were abused or taking the knee was booed.

List the results (30% of vote)

Qualification of three Home Nations, England’s progress to the final, and shocking incidents of abuse throughout the tournament meant the cultural relevance of our campaign only increased as a national and social conversation around online abuse snowballed. A perfect alignment between our social-first idea and the zeitgeist meant Hope United embedded itself as a significant part of the national psyche, and accordingly, results exceeded all expectations: 1.6b total impressions on social 3.7m people learnt a new social media skill as a result of the campaign 26.4k retweets of unpaid support 70% of the nat rep felt the campaign had a positive impact on football and society 27% overall campaign awareness, up 14% on the client’s previous comparable campaign 392 pieces of press coverage, equivalent to £2.9m in earned media

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

As a telecommunications mainstay that retains a fond public perception, the brand has a natural and fitting role as a national enabler, with the ambition to help connect every kind of person, tech-savvy or otherwise, to today’s digital world. The brand believes that when living up to its full potential, tech can make the world a better place. To that end, the Tech Tips platform was launched in 2020. As the pandemic accelerated the need for people to get comfortable with tech, we used some of the nation’s most trusted voices to help upskill the nation’s digital skills, like how to video call or homeschool your children during lockdown. Hope United was the next logical evolution of such a platform - taking this previous cache and attaching it to a culturally prescient vehicle that could truly influence the country at large and harness the power of digital for good.