Eurobest

#ThisIsOurTime

PHD, London / SKODA / 2019

Awards:

2 Shortlisted Eurobest
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

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 activate a campaign 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.

Idea

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 are women. So, in 2018, Skoda UK decided to use its voice within the sport to redress the balance. 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 our rallying cry of #ThisIsOurTime - a campaign that would start a long overdue conversation using branded content to shine a light on both the achievements and challenges of women’s cycling.

Strategy

#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.

Execution

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.

Outcome

On a budget of just £190,000, we achieved levels of exposure and conversation we hadn’t dreamed of.

#ThisIsOurTime content was seen by >10m Brits (c.20% of the UK adult population) and was picked up by 12 different TV, radio and press outlets in the UK.

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

And the story of the J-1 cycling team’s story was included - alongside the ‘Time’s Up’ movement - in the UN’s 2018 Gender Equality Review.

But are female cyclists any closer to achieving gender parity?

In November 2018 (after our campaign had ended), David Lappartient - the president of the professional cycling’s governing body, the UCI - publicly supported a new 10-day event where the men and women ride the same stages at the tour’s conclusion.

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