Title: British Gas Swimming
Duration period: March 2009-ongoing
Media agency: Carat
Media director: Richard Morris
Account directors/media planners: Rachel McGrath, Neil Dobson
Creative agency: CHI & Partners
Creative director: n/s
Account directors: Rachel McGrath, Neil Dobson
Account planner: Rebecca Munds
Client: British Gas
Brand/product: British Gas
Marketing director: Andrew Hogan
Media/brand manager: Pamela Brown
The judges singled out Carat's British Gas Swimming as Media Campaign of the Year in recognition of its game-changing approach to the company's marketing strategy. British Gas decided to place customer experience at the heart of its communications through the development of the most extensive association with swimming. It was based on key insights about what would engage and create participation from its target audience of "alpha mums" and "weekend dads": customers at risk of switching.
British Gas took ownership of the sport, "from paddling pool to podium", with a number of initiatives including a long-term commitment as the principal partner of British Swimming, a Pools 4 Schools programme for disadvantaged communities, sponsorship of the Great Swim series on Channel 4 and the recruitment of high-profile ambassadors. All of which helped British Gas get to the heart of what its customers valued the most - their family.
The activity over-delivered against the key business metric of Net Promoter Scores. Scores were even higher against customers who had taken part in the Free Swim programme. The judges felt the case was a great example of a big idea transforming the perception and performance of a brand.
As one juror said: "The amount of energy and effort from both the agency and the client also came through in the paper - working and learning together as they moved into new territory to deliver some fantastic results."