UK government’s Great campaign invites France to share the UK's audacious spirit

Created by Pablo and Unlimited, the 'Audacious Kingdom' campaign airs ahead of the Rugby World Cup

By creative salon

Pablo and Unlimited have launched a new campaign in France with the UK government’s Great Britain and Northern Ireland Campaign positioning the UK as ‘Les Royaume Des Audacieux’ (The Audacious Kingdom), a nation of non-conformist creators, trend-setters and innovators, who defy the status quo in art and culture, music, sport, technology, fashion and business.

The first phase of the campaign, which will coincide with the Rugby World Cup, will see a series of PR and experiential activations supported by paid media, including out of home and digital. The legendary story of William Webb Ellis will be the centrepiece of the campaign launch, a celebration of the daring young Brit who had the audacity to catch a football and run with it creating the game of rugby. 200 years on, to celebrate that iconic moment, the campaign will kick off with Jake Barraclough, a British ultramarathon runner, breaking conventions again by running more than 281 miles from Rugby School to Paris.

The campaign will be extended through a series of immersive pop-up experiences across three cities in France to give French people a taste of the UK’s modern and innovative culture. The campaign will continue into 2024, capitalising on the 2024 Olympics & Paralympics and other major cultural and business activities in France.

The campaign launch moment ‘The Audacious Run’ has seen ultramarathon runner Jake Barraclough celebrate the original British rule breaker, William Webb Ellis, who created rugby 200 years ago. Jake, will retrace the birth of rugby by running from Rugby – the British town that gives the sport its name – to the French capital. Jake has gone the extra mile, by running a marathon a day over the course of 10 days.

Starting from the playing fields of Rugby School in Warwickshire (England), Jake has picked up where William Webb Ellis left off and has run with a rugby ball all the way to Paris, even stopping by Downing Street for a quick wave at No.10.

Through this run, the Great Campaign wants to change the way French people see the UK: to a nation of audacious creators and inventors who dare to see things differently.

To extend the campaign, Great, Unlimited and Pablo, will offer unique interactive pop up experiences in Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux, titled the 'Store of UK Audacity'. Within the stores, an immersive walkthrough, brought to life by award-winning artists 3D Joe and Max, will invite visitors to see the UK differently by walking through anamorphic and distorted art experience. Each piece of art will highlight various elements of UK culture, from sport and music to film and tech innovation through the lens of two of the UK’s best up and coming artists. Visitors will also be able to add to the artwork, creating three special pieces which will be donated to the host cities at the end of the tour.

After being immersed in a story of UK culture through art, visitors will experience the virtual reality space - where they will be transported to a 3D world of real-life stories about the UK and the history of its different cities, and experience life flying on the back of a beetle onto a lilypad. Visitors will also discover the stop motion pioneers, Aardman Animation (creator of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep), have the opportunity to win a trip to the UK, plus much more.

Harriet Knight, Managing Director of creative agency Pablo said: “If we were going to position the UK as The Audacious Kingdom, then we needed the launch of the campaign to be as audacious as the message itself. The serendipity of the campaign launching during the buildup to the Rugby World Cup in France was too perfect to ignore - the 200th anniversary of one of the most audacious acts in sporting history, and an opportunity to commemorate one of the UK’s true game changers. Not an ad but an act, a genuinely bold undertaking that allows us to noisily plant the flag of The Audacious Kingdom on French soil. It’s been a wonderfully collaborative project for us, with the perfect combination of brilliantly ambitious production partners in The Glue Society and a brave and restless client who has pushed us to be as disruptive as possible during every stage of the creative process.”

Tim Bonnet, President of Unlimited added: “The work we’ve been doing for the Government has quickly grown into one of the agency’s most prized accounts. As a leading conversion agency, our campaigns consistently move people to action, and this campaign pushes boundaries as well as making a difference to people in the UK and internationally. With the UNLIMITED Human Understanding Lab underpinning everything we do, behaviour-led insights are at the heart of all our work, helping to ensure The Audacious Kingdom is such a brilliant, bold and powerful campaign.”


Creative Agencies: Pablo & UNLIMITED

Managing Director: Harriet Knight

Business Director: Piers Raffo

Account Director: Ben Ryall

Executive Creative Director: Tim Snape

Creative Director: Jon Burley

Creative team: Gustavo Bonzanini and Adam Reincke

Head of Planning: Paul Dazeley 

Senior Planner: Phoebe Rodgers

Associate Social Director: Pip Jeffcoate

Head of Production: Tom Moxham

Producers: Rose Reynolds & Rebecca Forrester

Director of Live Experiences and Business Operations: Sarah Bryers

Senior Account Director – Live Experiences: Pip Langdon

Account Director – Live Experiences: Felicity Clack

Account Manager – Live Experiences: Leah Carey

Event Producer – Jordan Lewis-Pryde

Project Director: Demi Osman

Project Manager: Pierce Lynch

Production Companies:

Production company: Biscuit Filmworks X Revolver

Director: The Glue Society

Creative: Jonathan Kneebone

Director of Photography: Robert Farley

Executive Producers: Rupert Reynolds-Maclean and Sam Chitty

Producer: Gareth Crothers

Client: The Cabinet Office, GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland Campaign

Deputy Director of the GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland Campaign - Kate Taylor-Tett 

Head of GREAT Programme, GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland Campaign - Joseph Williams 

Head of Campaigns & Partnerships, GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland Campaign – Alex Tucker

Campaigns and Partnerships Manager, GREAT and Northern Ireland Campaign – Amy Hamilton

Consumer PR Agency: BCW France

Media Agency: OMD


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