Encourage 16-25 year olds, currently in Further Education, to consider an international experience as a way of improving their employability and to accelerating their personal development. Excite them about the world of possibilities on offer if they study, work or volunteer overseas. Overcome their concerns and answer their questions. We wanted to connect the British Council with this audience to raise awareness of the organisation and its range of services.
Existing quantitative research showed a general lack of awareness of the British Council amongst the target audience but did not provide deep enough insight into the reasons for this disconnect.
So we ran a collaborative workshop within the environment of a Youth Centre to better understand the needs and wants of young people and those people who influence their decisions including, Parents, Teachers, Youth Workers and Careers Advisors. We pre-tested and co-created our initial campaign platform and messaging concepts with these audiences, learning that there was a considerable gap to be closed between these audiences and the British Council.
Our solution was to create an online video campaign #takeontheworld using ‘Ambassadors’ from the world of Sport, Media, Travel, Fashion and Music, each of who had an inspiring story to tell about how international experience had shaped them. The videos were hosted on YouTube and shared via Facebook, Vine and Twitter. Young people were then invited to make their own videos using just their smartphone, and enter them into a competition to win a study tour of New York. To help them with the task we also created a short film ‘How to make a smartphone video’ and wrote a more detailed PDF ‘How To’ study guide to encourage Teachers and Youth Workers to get involved in the campaign. The music for the campaign was supplied by The Dunwells.
Overall campaign reach was 1.2 million. The Youtube videos outperformed all previous British Council video content in terms of views over a 2 month period. Social media channel engagement increased by 10% for Facebook and 14% for Twitter. Vine was successfully tested as a new channel for the British Council. We gained the support of a number of new British Council Ambassadors.
British Council staff and stakeholders agreed that the campaign had achieved a closer and deeper collaboration between internal departments and provided a platform for future Youth Marketing initiatives.
Valuable insights were found regarding British Council’s organizational structure and its existing communication platform capabilities, leading to a larger research project to map the youth market in detail and inform organizational change.