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Specsavers’ social media agency on scoring big with Euro 2020 campaign

Tangerine Communications won the ‘Most Effective Use of Social Media’ category at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

Specsavers has a track record when it comes to live sports commentary, most notably the Ashes in 2019 where we famously offered Jack Leach free glasses for life.

So, when Euro 2020 (finally) rolled around, we knew we had to go big. After all, there would be countless questionable referee decisions, missed penalties and misjudged punditry to talk about.

We dialed up our creative reactive strategy (using the brand’s personality to react to the news agenda and online conversation) to meet our objectives:

  • Maintain brand love and positive sentiment.

  • Engage new and existing customers.

The strategy

Our insights showed that in-the-moment humor and reactive commentary is one of Twitter’s stand-out USPs, but for healthcare brands like Specsavers, it can come across as hollow if this isn’t backed up with relevant content and significant brand warmth.

Use the distinctive Specsavers personality to own and lead trending Euros conversations online, tapping into the mood of the nation and delivering exactly what they want to hear from us at exactly the right moment.

It starts with social listening: using software to scour keywords, trending topics and viral moments to sense the mood of the nation and formulate angles for the brand to respond. Our creative reactive team is online all day, seven days a week to ensure no stone goes unturned – and for the Euros, we bolstered the team even more to ensure that several reactive experts were online at any one time, to bounce ideas off one another and create memorable viral moments.

Then, we produce lightning-quick, on-brand content, with often headline-grabbing results. For Specsavers, the approach works using a formula:

Relevant conversation + relevant brand angle + tone of voice = opportunity.

In our day-to-day creative reactive, this is split into three focuses, and for the Euros, we followed the same rulebook: reacting to trends and the news agenda; interrupting relevant conversations; and surprising and delighting social media users.

The campaign

The pinnacle of reacting to trends and the news agenda was our much-lauded ‘It’s Coming Home’ billboard.

Ahead of the Last 16 match with Germany, social listening showed us that the mood of the nation was shifting, from ’England always lose’ to ’Could it actually come home?’, but it was still very much split. We therefore came up with two creative routes (one win, one lose) to be posted exactly on the final whistle. Luckily, we got to use the win option. The creative reactive team made sure the billboard went out at the exact right moment, just as the nation realized it could be ’coming home’ and the results showed we’d got it right.

On our owned social channels, the billboard was a success (2,400 engagements and 260,000 impressions on Twitter, 61,000 reactions and 4.4m reach on Facebook), but what really made it stand out was how the nation ran with it. It was shared far and wide, especially by the marketing and advertising community on LinkedIn. It appeared as The Drum’s Ad of the Day as well as being featured on publications like Famous Campaigns and PR Week.

Based on the billboard’s success on social, the wider Specsavers marketing team was poised to take it into OOH at Wembley and in press ads, too – flipping the ’ATL ad to social’ pipeline on its head and gaining even more reach for the campaign.

But the games weren’t the only sources of opportunity – we needed to keep an eye on Twitter too, for opportunities to insert the brand into current conversations and steal the show (interruptions).

A perfect example of this is when Vision Express ambassador Gary Lineker tweeted “Game of the tournament so far. Absolute thriller” after the achingly boring 0-0 game between England and Scotland. Whether it was sarcasm or not, we made the most of the ambiguity of the tweet to tell him to give us a call, with our reply surpassing his post in terms of engagements (3,500 RTs, 46,800 likes, 1.6m impressions).

And to make sure that famous brand warmth was always at the forefront, we looked out for opportunities to Surprise and Delight Twitter users. During England’s thrilling 2-0 win over Germany, one fan tweeted that he had broken his glasses in excitement after Harry Kane’s goal. We were right there to offer him a new pair – if Harry retweeted us.

When the England captain obliged to our request, we not only delighted the fan with a new pair of glasses, but also with the priceless gift of endorsement from his hero. Thanks to Harry’s kindness, our tweet got 3,900 engagements, 737,000 impressions and an interaction rate of 7.41% – which is significantly higher than our benchmark of 5.02%.

The interaction was noticed by the press, most notably The Sun, which ran the article: ’GLASSES HALF FULL: Classy Harry Kane helps get England fan new glasses after supporter cracked them wildly celebrating his goal vs Germany’ which gave us 64m PR reach.

The results

Our Euros reactive campaign reached 9.5m, which is a 21% increase on our monthly 2021 average for reactive. It garnered 127,000 engagements, which is a 45% increase – all completely organic.

If the brand had paid for those kinds of results through ad spend, we calculated it would have cost £95,000 for reach and £143,000 for engagements.

And, of course, we made the news, with a PR reach of 216m and coverage in titles such as The Drum (Ad of the Day), Famous Campaigns, PR Week and The Sun.

In terms of that all-important brand love, mention data shows that our reactive Euros content increased weekly positive sentiment by an average of 20.1% from June 17 to 30, 2021.

When it comes to reaching new potential customers, Specsavers’ Facebook and Twitter pages saw an average monthly follower increase of 2,787 from May to July, which is 32% higher than our 2021 monthly average.

Mention data shows reactive content increased weekly positive sentiment by an average of 20.1% from the June 17 to 30, 2021. ​

On a budget of just £11,000, we’ve not only brought huge value to the Specsavers brand, but we’ve also given joy to millions during the toughest time in recent memory. And in our eyes, that means we’ve hit the back of the net.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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