Behind the future scenes

The power of authentic and positive content

Apprenticeships are often seen as a plan B when compared to going to University. Our challenge was to tackle this outdated perception and replace it with a contemporary view of apprenticeships by addressing the 'not-for-me' mindset and by raising awareness of the variety and range of apprenticeships available alongside the diverse range of people who do them.?

The Insight

Generation Z is future-focused, 83% agree it's important to start saving for the future. And while apprenticeships are on Gen Z’s radar, attitudes toward them are still putting people off thinking about apprenticeships as a viable career option after leaving school. 64% worry about how successful they will be in the future* and 51% feel nervous about their future after school.**

The Big Idea

We wanted to maximise the impact of the Department for Education's (DfE) new campaign 'Fire It Up', promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to individuals and businesses by showcasing the variety and quality of apprenticeships on offer in industries across the country.

The UK is home to some of the most diverse and interesting people and places. We tapped into these settings with our campaign 'Behind the Future Scenes'.

Leveraging the influential voices of Cosmopolitan and Digital Spy we could speak to Gen Z about the quality of apprenticeships in a way which would spark an interest in our audiences, to find out more about what exciting career opportunities could await them.

We explored the work and life of young apprentices in different cities around the UK in a video series for 4 different career strands that were both surprising and engaging. Importantly, ensuring Generation Z saw opportunities both in and beyond the capital of London.

For the Cosmopolitan audience, these included a spotlight on STEM industries (The Apprentices Shaping the Future) and the Retail sector (The Apprentice who invents chocolate bars for a living).

Audiences:
  • Gen Z
Sectors:
  • Entertainment
  • Food & Drink
  • Public Sector & Charities
  • Retail
Services:
  • Branded content
Brands:
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Digital Spy

For Digital Spy's audience, we delved into the world of Forensics (How realistic are TV crime shows?) and the Visual Effects (VFX) industry (Behind the scenes with a VFX apprentice) ensuring the right context and content for each audience.

What was unique about this campaign is that the videos were shot by apprentices, for apprenticeships, of apprenticeships.

Our partnership with Hearst produced excellent results - beyond our expectations. Their channels helped us to reach audiences who may not have otherwise engaged with apprenticeships. Authenticity was a key requirement in our brief and the Hearst team responded to this by only featuring stories of real apprentices and by using apprentices to help produce some of the content itself. The results speak for themselves about the success of this approach.

Briony Biddle, Senior Marketing Manager, Fire it Up Campaign Team, Department for Education

The Results

The campaign was a resounding success proving that authentic and positive content has the power to create engagement amongst 3.2 million 16-24-year-olds and inspire them to action.

A whopping 73% of the 16-24-year-old target audience took action as a result of seeing the partnership (versus 42% benchmark).

*Generation Z, JWT Innovation Group **Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the future, Adobe?

28%

recommended an apprenticeship to someone

26%

considered/decided to apply for an apprenticeship

24%

discussed apprenticeships with a friend

Audiences:
  • Gen Z
Sectors:
  • Entertainment
  • Food & Drink
  • Public Sector & Charities
  • Retail
Services:
  • Branded content
Brands:
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Digital Spy