The Covid-19 pandemic had a catastrophic effect on the charity sector, with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events. As a result, many charities had to reduce or stop services at a time when vulnerable members of society needed them most. The 2.6 Challenge was dreamt up by a group of mass participation sporting event leaders who agreed it was their responsibility to try and help.
The group - led by Virgin Money London Marathon, Human Race, The Great Run Company and many more - sought to launch the first nationwide campaign inviting people to take on a 2.6 or 26-themed challenge and fundraise for a charity of their choice. The event was planned to launch on April 26th, the date of what would have been the London Marathon (which raised more than £66.4 million for charities in 2019), with the objective to fundraise as much as possible. As a completely new and unknown initiative, we were brought in to design a campaign brand which instilled a sense of national pride, build a UX-led, content-rich website and a marketing toolkit for supporters within 20 days.
Working collaboratively and totally remotely, we successfully navigated different steering groups of project stakeholders through our creative & digital processes in order to deliver over and above what was required in rapid time, without compromising on quality. The project was led by a dedicated strategic account handler and project lead duo to ensure communication externally and internally was flawless and every task was recorded and delivered at speed. The synergetic approach that the project required meant that typical client - agency boundaries broke down early and everyone worked together as one team united behind the cause.
Following scoping & research, the creatives presented three brand routes from which one identity was chosen. The brand’s bold use of colours and shapes were selected as it was agreed they would most effectively resonate with our broad audience - from children to pensioners, enabled, disabled and all ethnicities. The sentiment of being a home hero by joining the ‘marathon effort’ was then carried through a suite of marketing assets created for charities and businesses to use to recruit fundraisers and employees to take part in the campaign.
At the heart of the campaign was a bespoke website which explained the purpose of the campaign, served visitors with inspirational video content from celebrities & athletes and guided visitors to donate or fundraise for a charity of their choice or all the charities involved in the campaign. Working closely with JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving, we took a leading role in refining user journeys to maximise engagement. We also monitored Google analytics, social media data and trialied split testing on the site to make iterative improvements and increase conversions in the lead up to the campaign launch date. The value of the campaign far exceeded monetary value, as stories celebrated in the national press showcased the heartwarming impact on everyday people, reducing loneliness and bringing purpose and laughter into homes otherwise isolated from the rest of the world.
Studio Republic were the lynch-pin of 2.6 Challenge with their design work and execution of the website. Agile thinking, delivering the highest quality and always on deadline, contributing hugely to the strategic discussion. Their effort has been absolutely phenomenal and I do not make recommendations lightly.