O2: GoThinkBig

Launch date: 23rd October 2012    


Brands looking to engage a 16-24 audience were discovering fast that Generation Y – the children of the global recession – were looking for much more than free cinema tickets, advice on the latest fashions and festival queue-jumps.

O2 had established a CSR initiative which demonstrated a deep commitment to creating new possibilities for young people desperate to start a career.  Prodigious as it was, the very nature of CSR meant that it stood peripheral to O2’s engagement strategy: it lacked publicity, gravitas and was in danger of becoming heavy on communication and light on action.

Bauer Media, meanwhile, was facing its own challenges, noting an emerging thirst among its core audience for real, honest and practical solutions to the qualification-rich, experience-poor dichotomy plaguing the generation.

ZenithOptimedia wanted to combine shared objectives to create something beyond marketing, CSR and customer engagement, something which delivered real social value."

Strategy and details of activity

The need to provide an initiative which enabled young people to ‘start small, think big’ and bring fresh thinking to the world of work experience and work skills bore a partnership between the two brands.

In October 2012, GoThinkBig – a pioneering social action platform providing young people with a go-to place for career inspiration, insider information, advice, tips and work skills – was launched by O2 and Bauer Media CEOs.

The collaboration brought together valuable insight and influence from both brands to create something completely new: allowing young people to take simple steps to get the job or start-up opportunity they actually want.

Most importantly, it put its money where its mouth is: offering at least 30,000 work experience opportunities to those involved.  Believing in putting the power in the hands of young people to make a change – "by young people, for young people" – GoThinkBig now has a team of nine young people running the project.

And it’s not stopping there: GoThinkBig is truly committed to widening its scope. 30,000 opportunities aren’t enough and conversations with a host of other like-minded brands are already taking place."


Targeted crime prevention. "To date, GoThinkBig has achieved 1.5 million actual page views, received 12,035 applications for the 3,763 work experience opportunities placed on the site and reached 226,112 monthly unique users. 137 pieces of media coverage and a Twitter endorsement from the Prime Minister later, it now counts Channel 4, Spotify and Viacom among others as official partners.

The philosophy is to enable individuals to work hard and play hard: GoThinkBig is giving young people the chance to shoot the next Rizzle Kicks video as part of one of the biggest crowd-sourced projects this year.

The big vision goes on: plans are in place to truly challenge the concept of work experience: why should only the privileged few have access to these opportunities? Looking to the future, GoThinkBig will evolve into a truly future-facing, digital platform equipping young people with the skills and experience they need to get ahead."

Business outcome

The total audience reached stands at more than 170 million.

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