Cannes Lions


PHD, London / SKODA / 2019

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SKODA is a brand that began its life making bicycles and has been an official global sponsor of the Tour de France for 15 years.

Our UK brief for 2018 was the same as every other market Skoda operates in – to support Skoda’s association with professional cycling.

But from the same brief as every other market, we delivered a very different response.

A response that provoked a conversation about one of the sport’s biggest issues. In the UK and beyond.


Cycling has one of the most significant gender imbalances of any professional sport. For example, there is no female Tour de France – the sport’s most high-profile event.

This lack of female representation at the sport’s highest levels is one of the reasons that only 26% of UK cyclists ae women.

SKODA is a brand that began its life making bicycles and has been an official global sponsor of the Tour de France for 15 years.

In 2018, Skoda UK decided to use its voice within the sport to redress the gender inbalance. And start a long overdue conversation about the gender gap in professional cycling

The result?

Across the peak of the competitive cycling season (Jun-Sep), we launched a rallying cry of #ThisIsOurTime - a campaign that used branded content to start a long overdue conversation and shine a light on both the achievements AND challenges of women’s cycling.


#ThisIsOurTime only used channels which would maximise Skoda’s ability to both fully TELL the stories of female cyclists AND allow those inspired or outraged by them to SHARE them with others.

For that reason, the entire media strategy was grounded in branded content – from long-form written articles, audio podcasts and video stories through to on-the-ground activation at high-profile cycling events and the endorsement of some of the sport’s most successful competitors and fiercest advocates.

To reach as many of our online savvy 35-54 target audience as our sub-£200k budget would allow – we distributed the content through mass digital channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, supported by a 4-month partnership with a newspaper with the most highly regarded sport coverage in the UK.


We documented the story of 13 female cyclists who rode the entire Tour de France course the day before the men to campaign for equality in the sport.

We turned their journey into a series of films which were distributed through paid and owned social channels.

We even took the conversation to the doors of the problem by running one of our films as a TV ad in the official Tour de France race coverage.

All of this was supported by a 4-month content partnership with broadsheet newspaper The Telegraph which brought #ThisIsOurTime to life in print, female cycling podcasts and video – including an ongoing feature where SKODA supported a team of journalists and female sports stars to compete in a 100-mile ride in the UK.

And so UK cyclists could show their support, we distributed #ThisIsOurTime branded handlebar tape at cycling events and ŠKODA showrooms nationwide.


On a paid media budget of just £190,000,

#ThisIsOurTime content was seen by 20% of the UK and a further 282m people worldwide.

As a result, ŠKODA has now been asked by the UK government to participate in a Parliamentary review on gender equality.

And #ThisIsOurTime had an impact BEYOND the UK.

The story of the J-1 cycling team’s Tour de France endeavours was included - alongside the ‘Time’s Up’ movement and India decriminalising homosexuality - in the UN’s Gender Equality Review of the Year 2018.

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