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Creative

BT Takes Dickens to the 21st Century with Tale of Two Cities-Inspired Campaign

Saatchi & Saatchi London devises ambitious, purpose-led 'Beyond Limits' proposition with campaign that explores the dark and light of technology

BT Takes Dickens to the 21st Century with Tale of Two Cities-Inspired Campaign

Today, BT launched its biggest brand campaign in 20 years ‘Beyond Limits’ reveals the company’s ambition to help families and communities across the UK, and companies in Britain and around the world, to remove the barriers of today to realise the potential of tomorrow. The new campaign reflects the changing nature of BT and its focus on improving connectivity, setting a new standard for customer experience and providing essential skills training for 10 million people and businesses.

“Today’s launch of the ‘Beyond Limits’ campaign represents a real shift for BT, inside and out,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division. “Our presence and scale across the UK means that we have an opportunity and responsibility to go further than ever to connect more people and businesses across the UK, help them make the most out of the technology they have, and equip them with the skills they need to shape the future. This campaign represents just that, a bold step into the future, helping people to break down barriers and realise their potential.”

The TV ad developed for the campaign, airing on October 18, tells a story of hope in a time of uncertainty for Britain. It pays homage to Charles Dickens’s classic novel, The Tale Of Two Cities, following the story of a young girl as she travels through modern Britain to reach her classroom of the future. The ad poses questions about our time, and the role of technology in our lives. The viewer is provoked to think of these scenes as both positive and negative, ultimately concluding that this is a journey of optimism and pride and how technology can play a positive role in our lives. 

The TV campaign builds in partnership with ITV for a network takeover the weekend of October 19 and 20. BT will unveil the new logo and feature interpretations of it created by children from the Ashmount and Pontlliw Primary School from London and Swansea using coding robots. The concept was developed together with ITV Creative, BT’s media buying agency, Essence, was responsible for the multi-million pound investment in TV placement.

Led by Saatchi & Saatchi London, supported by other Publicis Groupe agencies as well as AnalogFolk and PosterScope and a wide roster of agencies across all disciplines. “Beyond Limits” will also feature digital and social advertising, significant PR and internal communications campaigns to communicate this new frontier for BT to its global workforce, an experiential OOH activation and launch event.

The scale, presence and impact of BT’s people across the UK is brought to life in the print and OOH campaign elements. This work shines a light on the efforts of BT’s people with headlines such as “BT answers 30 million 999 calls per year” and “We prevent 4,000 cyber attacks daily to keep your data safe.” 

On 23rd October, an experiential OOH activation will be unveiled right in the centre of Piccadilly Circus. During the half-term break, children will get involved in the campaign’s creative, developing their very own avatars using code. These avatars will then light up on a Piccadilly Circus billboard, further cementing BT’s commitment to inspiring younger generations.
New BT brand identity 

BT has refreshed its brand identity – not just a change of the brand’s symbol, but a symbol of the brand’s change. The new brand is illustrated with a sophisticated indigo and contrasting brightness with new pink hues to depict an environment that has depth and vibrancy. It brings modernity to the BT brand and makes it more relevant in dynamic, digital channels and experience. This will be rolled out and featured across BT’s entire digital and physical presence, including the return of BT to the high street across the UK. 
A record-breaking launch event

Last night the campaign was launched with a record-breaking event at Wembley Arena, headlined by pop-singer Jess Glynne and hosted by TV presenter Tess Daly. BT, with students from St. Joseph’s School in Islington – part of BT’s Barefoot programme which brings digital and computing curriculum to schools across the UK – created a world record-breaking choreographed drone performance, featuring 160 drones synchronized to a medley of Glynne’s greatest hits. The performance was a celebration of BT’s new brand direction as well as its commitment to its ‘Skills for Tomorrow’ initiative, a new online and community training programme designed to provide essential digital skills training for 10 million school children, families and businesses across the UK.

Featured Companies: PRETTYBIRD UK

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CLIENT: BT

Pete Jeavons: Director Marketing Communications, BT & EE

Alice Tendler: Group Head of Brand Marketing, BT

Andrew Ridler: Brand Marketing Lead, BT

Jo Trimmings: Brand Manager, BT

ADVERTISING AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi London

GLOBAL PRESIDENT: Magnus Djaba

CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Guillermo Vega

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ben Beazley

COPYWRITER / ART DIRECTOR: Antony Goldstein, William Brookwell, William Helm, Ryan Price

CHAIRMAN & CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER: Richard Huntington

PLANNING DIRECTOR: Sam Wise

BUSINESS LEAD: Max Fabian

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Nadine Abeledo

ACCOUNT MANAGER: Gabi Dwek

HEAD OF FILM: Rebecca Williams

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Anya Culling

MEDIA BUYING AGENCY: Essence

MEDIA PLANNER: Tom Kislingbury

PRODUCTION COMPANY: PrettyBird

DIRECTOR: Max Malkin

EDITOR: Ellie Johnson

POST-PRODUCTION COMPANY: The Mill

AUDIO POST-PRODUCTION COMPANY: 750mph Sam Ashwell

MUSIC SUPERVISION: Chris Phelps at Finger Music

Category: Internet , Utilities

Genre: Storytelling