British Gas Backs British Swimming With ‘Free Swims’


British Gas continues to leverage its position as the principle partner for British Swimming with its integrated ‘Free Swims For Britain’ campaign.


Brand ambassador and star British Olympic swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Keri-Anne Payne front the campaign creative.


The central TV spot uses Psyop animation to create realistic cartoon depictions of the swimmers and these images also appear on the supporting press and digital activity.


The campaign, created by Pepper, also includes social media, direct and email marketing elements, as well as promotional materials for participating swimming pools.


At the heart of the initiative is an opportunity for all British citizens to show their support for the British Swimming teams and in return receive a ‘free swim’ (and a chance to try an ‘aqua aerobics’ or ‘aqua tots’ class).


This ‘Free Swims for Britain’ offer is redeemable in more than 700 leisure centres, health clubs and hotels across the UK.


The campaign runs up until the two-week blackout period ahead of the Olympic Games, which prevents non-sponsors using Olympic athletes in advertising to protect official sponsors (which include British Gas competitor EDF Energy).


But the ‘free swim’ promotion itself will run until 30 August 2012.


Vouchers and bookings are available through the British Gas’ Swimming Microsite.


Anyone can take up the free swim offer (unlike the previous version of the campaign which was only open to British Gas customers).


Users simply need to log on to the microsite, pledge their support for the team via a message, selecting a participating local pool via the online ‘pool locator’ tool, request a date and then print out the automated voucher which must be taken to the pool.


‘British Gas has supported British Swimming for the last three years and we look forward to continuing this support in the years to come,’ says British Gas marketing director Will Orr. ‘We’re really excited that ‘Free Swims for Britain’ will help everyone to enjoy spending time in the water during what promises to be an unforgettable summer.’




This latest campaign is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the British Team and to swimming in general.


Indeed, British Gas, a direct rival of London 2012 energy and sustainability partner EDF, first promoted a ‘Free Swim’ initiative back in summer 2009 and rolled it out again in Spring 2010.


The overall aim is to help Britain achieve more in the water by encouraging adults and children alike to take to the water and supporting the elite Olympic swimmers: to get more people in the pool and teach more people to swim.


To date the work has used themes such as ‘health’, ‘fun’ and ‘essential life skills’ during the utilities giant’s three-plus years of activation leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Amongst its other stand out work within the wider programme is the much admired Pools 4 Schools’ educational initiative (see previous case study).




British Gas Swimming Microsite


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