• Launch

20 Years a Launcher

We thought you might be interested to know that Launch turns 20 this year. That’s 7,300 days since we started from a shoebox in Islington as the UK’s first ever project based agency, next to an organic pub (quite a big thing back then!) and overlooking a goldfish pond. So, we’re truly saying farewell to our teenage years – and among other things (like actually seeing people again), have been reflecting on two decades of creative work for some extraordinary clients. And thought you might be interested to have a quick flick through some of our recent favourite campaigns.

Creative ownership over quick wins At Launch we’ve always specialized in creating ownable territories for clients. We call our process to get there, Territory Define, and counsel clients to take ownership of the creative space we give them – short, or long term.

Hyundai As something of petrol heads (with BP a client for 18 years) we’re proud of the six years we’ve spent dreaming up new creative space for trailblazing Korean car brand, Hyundai. If you’re going to convince Brits that Hyundai is an extraordinarily innovative and sustainable car brand, and not a cheap Japanese one (gasp!), AND take it to lifestyle media, you need more than a one off stunt. Our focus has seen us really go after the innovation agenda and do things like map, drive, film and photograph every street in London for our technology-led immersive street art campaign, A Streetcar Named Hyundai. And set up The House of Hyundai – a sensory pop up in Soho that Time Out said was the No.1 thing to do in London that week. Or climb the ten (thankfully, extinct) volcanic ranges in the UK for our Kona 10 Challenge, to support the new Hyundai Kona SUV. Each campaign generated tonnes of earned media across national and lifestyle as well as some stunning content. Along the journey we’ve helped Hyundai become the third most recognised car brand in the UK, up from ninth when were appointed in 2015.

The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal How do you launch the Poppy Appeal in the middle of a global pandemic when your supporters aren’t allowed to leave their homes? And worse still, if many of your supporters are actually the thousands of amazing people who normally rattle tins and collect your £50M+ donations in public? Yikes. Our creative territory at the heart of The 100th Poppy Appeal in 2020 was called Poppy Window. The stunningly photographed campaign showcased British people across the nation standing in their windows at home, paying tribute to the Armed Forces. This powerful imagery captured the public’s imagination and drove significant media, a clean sweep in the nationals, front page of the Daily Telegraph, as well as extensive social engagement. It also helped achieve 2020 donation targets.

Own the debate Every brand says they want to be a thought leader. But if you’re going to own the debate, you need to back it up with action.

Siemens Siemens’ technology was converting lamp posts into electric charging units all over Westminster. But they needed to get other London boroughs and the general public to sit up and take note. So, to mark their 1,000th conversion and develop a high-profile media moment we created Electric Avenue - the UK’s first ever fully charged street. And of course, we renamed the street 'Electric Avenue' for the week, with bespoke street signs. With an intensive earned media and content programme we helped Siemens own the debate around London’s electric revolution. The campaign also resulted in significant sales leads for Siemens with other UK councils looking to electrify their roads.

Be Helpful If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that people want brands that solve real problems. Great if you’re stunt is splashed all over The Drum and PR Week, but did it actually make an impact on real people? Or just give some PRs a chuckle over Zoom drinks?

eBay for Charity’s Big Charity Sell When charity shops closed in lockdown vital income was lost and UK high streets were in danger of being overtaken by a fly tipping tsunami as the nation took to clearing out their cupboards during the crisis. So, we came up with eBay for Charity’s Big Charity Sell, encouraging the public to sell items on eBay and donate the money to charity. The integrated campaign was supported across the eBay marketing mix – on site, through CRM, social and of course PR. The response from the public and the charities themselves was overwhelming. So good in fact that this ownable creative was activated all over again in December 2020. Over 75 charities actively took part in the campaign, including Oxfam, Cancer Research and Barnardo’s, 16 of whom signed up to eBay for Charity for the first time. Extensive social activity resulted in a reach of 4.3m and engagement of over 750,000.

bp Retail Community Management For two years we’ve been the social voice of bp, running their retail community management, seven days a week, building and owning a personal and trusted brand tone across social. That role was put under a huge spotlight during the pandemic as customers took to social to get the latest information about services at their local petrol station. So we were helping real people, specifically key workers, find fuel, coffee or even just an open toilet. Operating at the point of customer interaction with the brand meant that we had to really own those conversations – whether it was information on mask wearing or free coffee for the emergency services our job was to help bp provide clarity and reassurance at all touchpoints. During the peak of the pandemic we were responding to 75 customers every day, providing the right information within just three hours. Since we took over community management we’ve also increased positive sentiment by 74%.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. And if you haven’t quite managed it, thank you all the same (you won’t know we’ve said that of course, but the sentiment is there!). Everyone involved in Launch over 20 years is a super hero in our eyes and we’re grateful to have known you along the journey so far. And when we return to Soho in the Autumn (in new offices to mark our vicennial), we hope to see you very soon, but in the meantime, you can say hello here. With our best and take care. Team Launch