Cannes Lions

Educating the Nation

SAATCHI & SAATCHI, London / BT / 2020

Presentation Image
Case Film
Presentation Image






On the 23rd March 2020 the UK went into lockdown. And almost immediately our whole lives moved online.

BT is a brand committed to helping people remove the barriers of today to release the potential of tomorrow, and so attacking the digital divide caused by a lack of basic skills and improving digital education for all was a clear way for the brand to offer people help in those early days of the crisis.

While others offered platitudes and promised to make hand sanitiser, BT set about to provide accessible, inclusive and enjoyable tech tutorials for as many people as possible and fast.


Within 25 days of lockdown BT were on air for nearly a month with almost daily tech tutorials. Each driven by search and delivered by much loved UK celebrities, themselves locked down at home.

And we partnered with ITV to take entire ad breaks in the evening news, the place we knew millions of people were turning to for updates on the crisis unfolding around them.

The result was BT Top Tips on Tech, an educational platform with individual tutorials aimed at crushing the digital divide in Britain in the most far reaching and accessible way possible.


To meet the learning needs of a nation in lockdown, we needed to know what they needed to know.

To do this we used the Google Trends API to identify the main questions people were asking. Broad terms such as “how to”, “can I”, “what to” and “broadband” were structured to organically find the trending related questions people had each week to shape the subject matter for each tutorial.

As a result we covered everything from how to home-school, how to download podcasts, how to use messaging apps, how to make video calls and even how to take your business online.

Using rolling search data also allowed us to change the nature of help over time. Initially people were focused on mastering their tech however, as lockdown progressed, their needs evolved towards using technology to keep fit or look after their wellbeing.


For nearly a month and almost every day of the week BT Top Tips on Tech was in the same place. In a dedicated three and a half minute ad break in the evening news, building an appointment to view. In total we aired 42 minutes of tutorials all produced on a rolling basis so that we could meet our nightly slots and respond to the things people wanted to learn.

We backed up TV tutorials with print placements to maximise our reach, each one again offering help and advice there and then. And we also created an online hub to house all of the Top Tips on Tech, as well as other learning resources for people who were a little more digitally confident. It also has allowed people to share content with those that they know might benefit from it.


BT’s tech tutorials were seen over 586 million times across the campaign with 64% of UK adults watching at least one episode.

83% of those who recognised seeing at least one tutorial found the topic personally relevant or, critically, relevant to someone they knew. 43% of recognisers said that BT was actively taking steps to help the UK today, a critical brand metric for BT.

But most importantly 5.76 million people across the UK did or learnt something as a result of BT Top Tip on Tech, about 10% of the adult population. Our evaluation framework also suggests that of those, 2.10m people show evidence of a long term change in behaviour. This level of real help and impact on such a large number of people just when they needed it, is in the phrase of the moment, unprecedented.

Similar Campaigns

12 items




2017, BT

(opens in a new tab)