WINNER Thorntons

Chocolate company Thorntons chose to involve its entire business in the marketing activity around its 100th birthday celebrations in 2011. The firm wanted to use the centenary to inject wonder and fun into the brand, raising staff morale as well as promoting the brand to new and lapsed customers.

A core 'Centenary Dream Team' of four staff worked together for 18 months on top of their day jobs to create an exciting itinerary for the year. This included cross-country cycling, robotic chocolatiers, one hundred 'Golden Keys' hidden in chocolate and making the world's largest bar of chocolate.

Teamwork, both internally and with agencies, was a key success factor. All head office staff, store colleagues and factory workers were asked what they would like to see the business do to celebrate 100 years. One factory worker wanted to create the world's largest bar of chocolate, which involved 50 staff volunteers and resulted in media coverage with an advertising value equivalent of £800,000.

An employee challenge found five staff volunteers to cycle across the country, visiting 100 Thorntons stores and raising money for the NSPCC en route. The coverage had an advertising value equivalent of £100,000. Experiential activity driving sales and footfall included a Chocolate Kabin in five UK cities, and the Thorntons Live Mechanical Chocolatier, a human statue, in 22 UK locations, while 100 Golden Keys hidden in chocolate bars unlocked a visit to the Thornton's chocolate factory. Judges called it a great example of teamwork that enthused the entire staff.


British Gas (Agency: CHI & Partners)

When prices rose in winter 2010 British Gas needed to stem customer churn. A tie-up with loyalty scheme Nectar was positioned as a thank you to customers, and aimed to drive awareness and sign-up. It also tried to improve customer relationships.

The initial idea came from a small team of planners, while a wider marketing-led team worked closely with Nectar to realise the campaign. The team galvanised British Gas' 30,000-strong workforce around their cause, with engineers delivering a personal thank you to customers with the help of promotional material.

Four engineers starred in the campaign's adverts. The campaign reduced churn by 5% and delivered a return on investment of £2.54 for every £1 spent. The approach to team working and staff engagement has become a blueprint for further campaigns.


  • McFlurry (McDonald's), Coming together to take McFlurry on a summer tour
  • Hiscox, Project Aphrodite


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