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    Social video

You made it possible You made it possible

On your marks

We needed to make #IAmTeamGB the hashtag of the Games

The Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012 were a phenomenal success, and with Rio in 2016 Team GB was faced with the mouth-watering prospect of a record-breaking best ever away Games. Our ever-growing medal haul can be directly attributed to the funding and investment from Sport UK and The National Lottery – over the last 4 years alone, TNL has contributed a whopping £320 million to UK Sport, and 1,300 athletes have benefitted. So TNL players have a unique right to feel proud of the role they’ve played in helping fund our Olympians’ success.

This unique relationship between British supporters and British athletes was articulated in the social rallying cry of #IAmTeamGB – an integrated campaign spanning TV, digital and experiential.

Our task was to create engaging content for use on TNL’s social channels leading up to and during the Games – to celebrate the success story in a way that was personally gratifying, inspirational and motivated TNL players to keep on playing.

In a busy summer packed with sporting events, we needed to build anticipation for the Games, then celebrate golds, silvers and bronzes as they racked up as if we were one team – because when we won medals, it was fair to say that Play Made It Possible.

Above all, we needed to make #IAmTeamGB the hashtag of the Games – with content that people would share with pride.

One Olympic Gold Medal
National Lottery Four Olympic Gold Medals
One Olympic Gold Medal

Bringing the
Games to life

Get set

social needs a
superfast team

We’d love to say we had plenty of time to plan the campaign. That it was as meticulous in its conception and as faultlessly precise as the athletes’ own preparation. We’d love to say that, but we but who are we kidding? This is digital. This is social. Things move fast, things change, things evolve. But that’s fine, because we’re Waste. And we’re fast too, buddy, and nimble like a hyper flexible pole vaulter.

We began by creating a Countdown to Rio – a series of seven short animated videos, filled with interesting and unexpected facts about Team GB funding to build

excitement around the Games and get the community buzzing. They were posted on Facebook and Twitter in the days leading up to the opening ceremony.

To give a little something back to the community, we also created a competition to run on Twitter during certain events. The format was simple: retweet during a key Team GB event for a chance to end up on the TNL podium and win some brilliant prizes. And, sure enough, people did…

But the meat of the campaign was obviously around the impending glory of our heroic Olympians.



TNL wanted to celebrate each medal win, and had their own social team primed to use templates we created to big up our athletes when they romped home in first, second or third.

But with events running into the very early hours every day, it was fair to assume most of our audience back in the UK would be asleep. We knew they’d likely turn to news outfits for their morning medal round up: so what could we give them? There was a desire – and an opportunity - to create something a little more stand out.

The answer, to us, was simple. It meant tracking the Olympics and following every move Team GB made; deciding on which medal winners to celebrate; and then turning around some slick animation, powerful copy and great imagery of the athletes fresh from Getty – all before anyone in the UK had even woken up.

content targeting commuter-time

So that when everyone was checking out their feed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during their morning commute, they would see some brilliant creative that celebrated Team GB’s amazing medal haul, and The National Lottery’s role in funding the athletes.

We had a crack team to make it happen, too. An Art Director. An Animator. A Copywriter. A Project Manager.

And coffee. Lots of coffee.

The finish line

In the battle for social media supremacy, the National Lottery ran away with gold…

Rio was brilliant, wasn’t it? And as far as we at Waste were concerned, you know a campaign has been successful when it’s the subject of another client’s ‘Inspiration’ newsletter.

Brands contested fiercely over social media and the world was fully engaged – four years ago there were 6.5 million global mentions of #London2012, but more than 23 million for #Rio2016.

According to MediaCom – who tracked UK fan engagement on Twitter – one in five viewers said they'd been using Twitter more than usual since the Olympics started and one in three interacted with tweets about the Olympics.

Our agile content helped make The National Lottery the most talked about UK brand at Rio 2016. TNL received over 20,000 mentions across Twitter and Facebook - more

than three times as many as the number two brand, Nissan, with just under 6,000 – all the more amazing for a brand without official ambassadorial deals being agreed.

The overall goal to boost the public's awareness of the role played by lottery funding in Team GB's success nearly doubled, with awareness rising from 28% before the campaign, to 54% after it launched.

On Facebook, views of our videos celebrating individual medal wins by Team GB exceeded ten million.

And of huge importance to Camelot the campaign also led to an uplift in sentiment, with 68% of National Lottery players saying they felt more positive about the brand.

“In the battle for social media supremacy, the National Lottery ran away with gold, capitalising to great effect their relationship and funding of Team GB athletes and their governing bodies through their #IAmTeamGB campaign.”

Several weeks later, we repeated this formula for the Paralympics, resulting in the SECOND most successful social campaign ever for TNL. Gold and Silver. Not bad, eh?

Up Next Dr T takes over the internet


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