design Case:  GREAT Britain Campaign

 GREAT case Potter 650

(Above: Sample GREAT campaign materials used to promote interest in the UK. Image source: DBA) 


The GREAT Britain campaign is the UK Government’s ambitious international marketing campaign launched in 2012 to stimulate jobs and growth.

The campaign showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.  

It aims to generate economic returns by exploiting Great Britain’s nation brand through branding and marketing techniques, to differentiate the UK as a premier destination for tourism, education, inward investment, and to support British companies exporting overseas. It was awarded the Grand Prix in the 2016 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.

Building on an original concept developed by the agency Mother, the designers at Radley Yeldar (RY)  partnered with 10 Downing Street/Cabinet Office to develop the GREAT brand and campaign assets. These included: 

• Brand principles and framework
• Brand identity system and guidelines
• Expression across an ever-evolving range of applications
and opportunities
• Brand guardians as GREAT continued to evolve

GREAT delivery partners use the freely available brand assets and guidelines as the basis for their marketing activities throughout the world. The campaign funds activities in a number of priority markets and is active in many more. 

The RY design team defined the brand system, principles and guidelines and gave it expression over multiple formats from liveries and films to press and social media executions. 

Among many other themes, GREAT branding activities have been timed to co-incide with and support the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the launch of the Bond 'Skyfall' movie, the release of 'Paddington' in cinemas, and private-sector sponsored events such as GREAT Weeks of Creativity and F1 Grand Prix.



(Above: GREAT message in different contexts. Image source: DBA)

According to a case study that was awarded the 2016 Grand Prix at the DBA's Design Effectiveness Awards, the campaign had delivered £1.2bn in direct return by June 2015 against a £113.5m investment.

The case also cites evidence of increased intentions to visit and invest in the UK which it attributed to the design consistency shown by the campaign, and this was also praised by the National Audit Office.

Find out more about the Design Effectiveness Awards here.