This was a great example of using digital platforms and gamification to drive the empowerment of young people globally, as well as deliver impressive results against the set objectives. This campaign clearly delivered against Vodafone’s promise to close the digital skills gap, reaching the right audience at the right time.


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Winner entry:

Brief and objectives:

In March 2018, Vodafone launched ‘What Will You Be?’ a global digital jobs and skills initiative designed to help some of the 71 million young people who are unemployed find work within the digital economy. The aim was to provide digital careers guidance and training to up to 10 million young people across 20 countries* over five years. In parallel, Vodafone announced plans to double the work opportunities offered to under-25s, reaching 100,000 young people across 26 markets by 2022.

Vodafone’s external communications team was challenged to reach millions of young people aged 18-24 to connect with as many free digital skills training opportunities and digital employment opportunities as possible, closing the digital skills gap.

The idea, research and planning:

The Digital Communications team joined forces with Sustainable Business, HR, the Commercial Youth Segments Team and Brand to create ‘What Will You Be?’, a programme to connect young people around the world to free digital skills training and digital jobs.

We built a free online tool – which can be accessed from mobile or digital devices without the need to download an app – called Future Jobs Finder. The tool was designed to give young people an understanding of how their strengths and skills match up with digital careers through a short ‘gamified’ psychometric test. Users are then linked to appropriate jobs they can apply for in their locations and relevant online digital skills training. The Future Jobs Finder was also designed in partnership with psychologists, career and employment experts and young people within Vodafone, including graduates and interns.

To shape the campaign, we surveyed 6,000 young people aged 18-24 in 15 countries with YouGov to understand young people’s attitudes to the digital economy and digital jobs that appeal to them. We devised survey questions to shape a launch campaign and underline the issues, crafting news lines for the global release, including ‘more than two-thirds of young people interviewed received insufficient or no careers advice at any point in their education’ and ‘more than half feel the greatest struggle for their generation is to find any kind of well-paid permanent job’. Young women favoured traditional jobs while young men favoured digital. We storyboarded findings into one global film, plus 17 short localised films featuring thousands of young people from Vodafone’s markets, and a series of infographics.

Strategy, tactics, creativity and innovation:

We launched Vodafone’s global youth initiative to media and policymakers in Brussels, positioning Vodafone as a global leader in the field of future jobs, youth and digital skills training. As well as media from more than five countries, the team invited international policymakers and opinion formers to discuss youth unemployment and digital careers, including Head of Cabinet for the Economy and Digital Societies of the European Union, Lora Borissova and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who joined Vodafone’s (then) CEO, Vittorio Colao on stage. Vodafone’s key spokespeople were media-trained ahead of the launch. Youth bloggers from participating markets were invited to attend and post live from the event.

To directly reach thousands more consumers, the team approached Sony Pictures after viewing a preview of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, who agreed to a groundbreaking purpose-led collaboration to support Vodafone’s mission, using the new movie to drive young people to Vodafone’s free Future Jobs Finder. Vodafone’s digital communications team filmed an interview with Shameik Moore, the star of the movie, while he uses the Future Jobs Finder and discovers he is a ‘Multi-Media Developer’. In the film Shameik told Vodafone that his teachers told him he’d never be an actor – a story which flew with the media. The Sustainable Business and HR teams created a once-in-a-lifetime careers experience at Sony Pictures in LA, working with the Spider-Verse animation team to offer as a competition prize within the Future Jobs Finder. We added three days of creative workshopping with the creative teams at Vodafone’s global HQ in London and announced this in January 2019.


A global media toolkit was created for participating countries on the morning of the Brussels launch, containing the announcement, survey findings, global and local films and infographics. No media exclusives were arranged prior to the announcement, ensuring the Brussels event was the global launch moment and influencers attending had their exclusive.

A second global toolkit announced the Spider-Man collaboration using the Shameik Moore interview, while media were invited to an exclusive screening weeks before the movie hit cinemas around the world. Social media assets using scenes from the movie edited to promote the Future Jobs Finder.

Measurement and evaluation:

410k young people have completed the first Future Jobs Finder test and more than 2.5 million digital jobs were recommended to them. 2m unique users landed on the Future Jobs Finder platform within weeks of launch. 837 Tier 1 media articles in 24 countries, including 20 Vodafone markets (Albania, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, UK).

Potential earned media reach of 855.9 million, estimated likely media reach of at least 42.8 million. Tier 1 articles from March 2018 including The Sun linked to the Future Jobs Finder and featured the video with global research. Corriere della Sera wrote that ‘Businesses like Vodafone are moving ahead of governments’ in supporting young people with digital skills initiatives for future jobs. Powerful pieces ran in Expansión and Business Standard. Italy’s HR team were interviewed live on cult TV show Unomattina. 557 unique social media posts, with a potential reach of at least 132.2m. Tier 1 articles from December 2018 (Spider-Man launch) appeared in Mail Online, CNBC, The Sun, The Mirror, Metro, The Drum, Yahoo Finance, Haberler and

Our interview with Shameik Moore resulted in 6 million impressions on Twitter within a week. 28k entries to win the Spider-Verse careers experience at Sony Pictures in LA and Vodafone Group.

Budget and campaign impact:

£81,500 for activity until March, which included research in 15 countries by YouGov and the creation of shareable, localised videos, including translations into more than 10 languages, plus a £5,000 contribution for the Spider-Verse media screening event and £2,500 to film and edit Shameik Moore’s interview.