Cannes Lions

GOLD: A Journey With Idris Elba

AKQA, London / WORLD GOLD COUNCIL / 2024

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Democratising the knowledge of gold during a period of economic uncertainty, this project builds on season 1 of the Golden Thread. Reaching beyond the traditional audience of gold investment, it showcases gold as an accessible asset with roots in human progress.

The aim was to produce a documentary that explores the value of gold while illuminating its powers of transformation on communities and economies. It highlights how the industry navigates current challenges, from post-mining regeneration and energy consumption to the future of the workforce in gold mining.

Through a multi-pronged launch campaign and a well-known protagonist, the project sought to drive views of both the film and social assets and drive traffic to the website, whilst ensuring that engagement with the brand continued after the film’s release. This was captured through the time that visitors spent on the site and the parts of the website they navigated.

Idea

We believe that gold is a human asset: wherever you find gold you find the story of human progress and personal stories too. This is a story that connects societies in every corner of the globe and takes us on a journey to follow gold’s impact.

Travelling this path and acting as the feature-length documentary’s protagonist, Idris Elba reaches a global audience, acting as a reliable narrator whose presence ties together every part of the project. Idris’ connection to gold through his Ghanaian heritage encourages the audience to explore how gold impacts their own lives and the world they live in.

Strategy

Wherever you find gold, you uncover a chapter in the history of human progress.

Season 1 of The Golden Thread explored how the impact of gold on humanity extends far beyond its economic and scientific applications. But this insight is so rich that the World Gold Council dedicated a second season to exploring it further.

This project was a chance to ensure that a larger audience became aware of the wealth preservation qualities of gold and its role in meeting the social and environmental needs of society. It aimed to expand the general public’s access to gold knowledge, ensuring that these insights are not guarded by the traditional gold audience, and instead can be accessed by all.

Bringing together retail, institutional, and industry audiences, the project endeavoured to build understanding, access, and trust around gold. Solidifying the view that gold is an essential asset for every investment portfolio.

Execution

A trusted source of information on the topic of Gold, the World Gold Council created an opportunity to share its rich knowledge and work to change perceptions around the precious metal. The resulting documentary film was housed both on YouTube and on the film’s dedicated website.

The film’s title Gold: A Journey With Idris Elba employs visual design inspired by Gold’s inherent lustre—brought to life with texture, colour, and gilded touch of motion design. The design system unified static and motion assets across social, digital OOH, and the web experience. Alongside the global Digital OOH campaign, advertisements were strategically placed in areas with high foot traffic including Times Square, New York, Central London, and Sydney.

The project generated 117.3 million trailer views and 12 million documentary views globally, supported by global DOOH and social campaigns. The project drove visitors to a dedicated teaser and launch website using social media and DOOH campaigns. Viewers signed up for email reminders for the film’s release. The film was also screened for press and investment professionals at two launch events.

Additional website galleries provide more context around gold’s transformational power, six galleries of stills embellishing the stories being told. A supplementary film asset entitled ‘The Malaria Project’ also dives deeper into how gold is helping manage the disease in Ghana. This was created using outtakes from the original documentary film.

The teaser phase of the project was launched on 7th September 2023, and the full documentary launched 5th October. The film continues to remain on YouTube and the website.

Outcome

Attracting 9.4 million visits to the website, 117.3 million trailer views and 12 million documentary views, and a 65% increase in subscribers to the World Gold Council’s Youtube account, millions of people have seen gold’s transformational power and role in human advancement through this project. This result proves the project’s success against its original KPI, which was to achieve a minimum of 50.7 million engagements on this content.

The World Gold Council has solidified its role as a trusted authority on gold, with this documentary taking its input beyond solely investment matters, providing a more holistic view of its impact.

Continuing The Golden Thread’s legacy of raising the volume of gold globally, Gold: A Journey With Idris Elba brought the precious metal’s human impact to a vast audience. Season 2 increased awareness of gold’s contribution beyond an investment vehicle or the advancements brought to light by Season 1.

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