Free To Be

25. Apr 2019

Free To Be - LADbible X Smirnoff

  • — Background


    Britain has become increasingly polarised, with communities on society’s fringes feeling the effects.


    Research of millennial audiences by LADbible found widespread apathy to serious content, with 30% confused about how to talk about topics like inclusivity.


    We believe that people are inherently good. If you can make content relatable to their everyday lives, it’s possible to burst echo chambers and drive more inclusive conversations.


    Armed with these insights, and narrowing down our focus to nightlife culture, we launched Free To Be to champion inclusivity, with a special emphasis on gender identity and disability.


    Through the use of humour, relatability and the inclusive nature of good times, the campaign’s objective was to break down apathetic barriers and encourage a generation to have 1000’s of difficult conversations between mates around inclusivity.

  • — Strategy and Execution

    When LADbible published a pilot documentary about the positive work of the Village Angels – a charity group who patrol the Manchester Gay Village keeping the community safe – it drove an unprecedented level of volunteering to join the charity.


    Building on this success, Free To Be launched in May 2018, as a long-term partnership to encourage a more inclusive nightlife culture for all.


    LADbible is the world’s biggest social publisher with a track record in purpose driven campaigns aimed at millennials.


    Through consistent editorial stories, videos, social assets and a website takeover over- a 9-month period across LADbible’s echo system, we drove mass audience awareness and dialogue.


    The campaign featured 40+ pieces of content distributed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and a bespoke website hub.


    The campaign’s two core phases:

    • May to July – celebrated nightlife’s diverse everyday heroes, followed by Signkid’s festival performance, which empowered the deaf community
    • October to December – First Person I Told video content coincided with National Coming Out Day and we supported the launch of Soho Angels – cultural moments that encouraged conversations about LGBTQ+ topics
  • — Results

    Free To Be aimed to break down apathetic barriers, encouraging mass conversations and action on inclusivity.


    We reached 73 million, sparked 339K engagements, with a pre/post campaign survey revealing a 4% increase in inclusivity conversations amongst our target audience.


    But it didn’t stop there.


    Working with Smirnoff’s cultural agency – One The One, we supported the LGBTQ+ community, driving unprecedented level of volunteers (up 1000%) to join the Village Angels, a charity that patrol the Manchester Gay Village.


    Medical equipment and supplies were donated and subsequently used to save a life.


    The campaign saw the launch of the ‘Soho Angels’ in London – an initiative that helps to ensure Soho remains one of the UK’s most inclusive and safe nights out.


    We empowered the deaf community at Wireless – UK’s biggest urban music festival, propelling deaf music artist, Signkid to guest headline the mainstage, alongside hip-hop artist Big Shaq.


    We made the festival accessible to all with qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters on stage throughout the weekend.