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choose giffgaff: behind the scenes



5 minute read

This weekend, giffgaff’s 2019 brand campaign #choosegiffgaff launches during Britain’s Got Talent with a 60-second film created in collaboration with Blink’s Fred Rowson.

And I bet you might be curious to know the idea behind the new and thought-provoking giffgaff campaign. Our head of social, Layla West, is one of the creative minds behind the campaign and will share with us some of the best moments of the journey from concept to creation in this Q & A. Hope you enjoy the reading!

Hellen: What inspired the campaign?

Layla: We’re the mobile network that’s run by you but for those that don’t know too much about our Labs or Community and all the other ways we are run with our Members in mind, it might not be clear what that actually means. Late last year Abi, Head of Advertising, and I were digging into loads of research around the giffgaff brand as we worked on our strategy for 2019. We wanted a bold demonstration of ‘run by you’ and started to dissect that some more; really, run by you means we’re built around your needs and we put you in control, so you’re free to change your goodybags, vote for which charity we support in our Payback [link to payback] or even leave us (but we work hard to ensure you stay by listening and working hard to keep you!)

So we knew we wanted to celebrate how giffgaff puts its members in control. That was the basis. Then we worked with Fred Rowson the Director of our TV ad and he came up with a killer concept with real cultural relevance. Quote from Fred from press release: “the concept aimed to be both playful and meaningful; which is provocative in its reference to our current climate, but joyful in its celebration of democracy and freedom of choice. Hopefully, to anyone sick of politics, this can come as a reminder that, whichever way you vote, choice is something to be celebrated - not shied away from”.

We also briefed Made by Blah who we worked with last year on a load of brilliant social ads, they came back with an outdoor and social concept that hero’ed our Members and why they chose giffgaff.

The campaign name and hashtag was simple, we wanted people to choose giffgaff - so #choosegiffgaff was born.

Hellen: What is your favourite moment from the advert and why?

Layla: The lady playing the mahjong game I love and am a bit obsessed with. She was so lovely and has the best smile ever. I even got a hug from her on set! I love this scene because we wanted to also celebrate the people who choose giffgaff and then do nothing - we recommend the best plan for you but you don’t have to do anything, choosing giffgaff could be the last choice you make, we’re really low effort! So I like that she represents choosing nothing. She’s ace.

Hellen: Community is very important to giffgaff so how was this translated in the creative process?

Layla: We shared the storyboards with our members on the Community and their feedback was mainly around how much was going on and that’s definitely something we took on board and some scenes we cut in the end so it still had the energy without feeling out of control, after all we’re celebrating control so should feel positive! We also spoke to members to ask them why they were with giffgaff, we then hero’ed some of these stories by organising photoshoots with our members.

Hellen: Did anything change from storyboarding to filming - if so, why and what impact do we think it had?

Layla: Loads! We had a really close, collaborative way of working. The main change was that there was going to be a kid blowing a snot bubble out of his nose. He would then be in the penultimate scene being lifted by our hero weightlifter. We shot so many different scenes that in the edit this wasn’t necessary to be the celebratory moment as the music and pacing of the scenes did that for us. The boy is very cute though, hopefully we’ll get his scene in one of the follow up ads we’ll be running.

Hellen: The shoot looked really fun, how was the process and we’re there any funny stories during filming?

Layla: Yes! We filmed in Slovenia and would you believe it all of it was done in 3 days? My highlight was meeting Maxie the Iguana, I love iguanas, they don’t move if they’re cold and in many ways I see them as my spirit animal. The scene right at the end with the drag queen and the spiral staircase was filmed in the same building. The club is at the top of the staircase. The fire alarm went off and the lift was out of bounds so we had to carry stuff up and down that staircase - after we’d just filmed that happening with the removal men!

Now that you know the story behind the campaign, it’s worth watching the full video if you haven’t done it yet. Enjoy!

Written by hellen_b

Hellen is a content expert at giffgaff.