Winner 2023

Travel & Tourism


Cymru Wales (Welsh Government)

Entered by:

Orchard Media and Events

Wales To The World


iCrossing UK

The Challenge

In November 2022, Cymru — the Welsh national football team — flew out to Qatar to compete in the FIFA World Cup finals. The first time in 64 years that our nation had participated in the world’s biggest sporting event.

This was a big deal for our country. The global audience of 5 billion people presented us with a unique opportunity to showcase Wales to the world, and create a legacy.

With Wales last to qualify, timescales were tight. We needed to work at speed on comparatively modest budgets, and the political controversy surrounding Qatar’s hosting of the tournament meant we needed a pitch-perfect campaign.

The Welsh Government’s brief was to take Wales to the world:
• to introduce our country, often for the very first time, to new international audiences;
• to reignite the hiraeth (longing for home) of our worldwide diaspora; and
• to create a legacy on which to build further international promotion of our nation.

We were tasked with:
• developing and delivering a multilingual integrated campaign that showcased our progressive, values-driven nation to the world.
• and doing so through an innovative collective of partners that could amplify Wales’ stories beyond what could have been done alone by Government.

We had varied audiences with different levels of awareness of Wales, multiple territories and languages to consider, and dozens of stakeholders and partners that needed to buy-in to the campaign, in order to amplify our messages. So, we needed a strategy that could pull our nation’s stories and people together and present them in a compelling way.

The Content Solution

Our aim was to craft an insights-led strategy and content solution that would cut through noisy media landscapes. A creative approach that was single-minded to create consistency, yet flexible enough to be delivered through many executions, and by various partners and channels.

‘This is Wales, C’mon in’ — our authentic, people-led campaign introduced Wales and invited the world in to get to know us better. It communicated Wales’ brand proposition and embodied the nation’s values.

The people of Wales became our messengers — telling our stories, championing our values, culture and traditions in an engaging, unscripted and authentically Welsh way.

The creative execution saw us craft individual scenes of Wales that could come together in different ways to tell bigger stories — creating a vast suite of multilingual content that allowed bespoke audience journeys pre, during and post tournament.

An adaptive slogan: ‘This is Wales’ was paired with a friendly CTA which changed, depending on the stage of the campaign and the audience.

A suite of hero films took audiences on a journey — deepening their understanding of our country and values with every step. From a pre-tournament ‘croeso’ (welcome), to a broader showcase of our nation and values, and onto supporting stories, hub and hygiene content.

A modular approach to content creation — filming, photography and copywriting — gave us assets for multiple audiences in multiple formats and languages. An exciting new graphic language brought energy to the campaign — using a bespoke typeface, bold colour palette, dynamic animations and soundscape that blended real sounds of Wales with a re-imagined take on a centuries old folk tune.

— Hero content
A suite of hero adverts (full length and shorter cutdowns) took audiences on a journey — deepening their understanding of our country with every step. From a pre-tournament ‘croeso’ (welcome) to a broader showcase of our nation and values, and then an invitation to join us in our football-focused celebration.

— Hub Content
Supporting stories were crafted for owned channels and media packs, including stories of LGBTQ+ fans, Welsh supporters’ global charity work, and an inclusive club that helped locals and refugees through difficult times.

— Hygiene Content
With high search interest for Wales, we planned user content for and reacted to live social trends to place relevant content on owned channels (social and web).

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

We planned three flexible phases to the campaign — pre, during and post tournament — to evolve as interest in Wales and football grew and peaked. We identified territories where interest in the World Cup overlapped with existing and future Welsh Government activities – USA, Qatar, UAE, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Ireland and UK.

Paid Content
Paid digital was informed by qualitative and quantitative research, search trends, social mentions, audience profiles and channel preferences. Each identity was accompanied by a paid media targeting and messaging framework, leading people on a carefully-curated content journey across Meta, Tiktok, Snapchat and Youtube. An additional NatGeo partnership amplified our messages in the USA.

Timely, relevant and engaging social content created a sense of excitement throughout the campaign — shared across owned channels and amplified through cross-posting relationships with key partners.

Co-ordinating and funding partner activity was an innovative part of our campaign. We pulled a ‘Team Wales’ partnership of 24 organisations — from broadcasters to youth organisations, hip hop artists to artists, sporting heroes, museums to famous chefs — all with a united goal of introducing our diverse nation to the world.

Our partnership with Welsh language broadcaster S4C took Wales to Broadway ahead of the Wales v USA game. Major influencers and decision makers, including Hollywood A-listers and Wrexham AFC owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were treated to an evening of music, culture and entertainment, helping to cement our relationship with North America.

A giant Bucket Hat — an iconic emblem for Welsh football — took pride of place in Doha, Qatar — becoming a memorable focal point, and attracting global media. We took a distinctive Welsh Dome to London’s South Bank, showcasing Welsh food and drink, and enjoying a live screening of the Wales v USA game with key global stakeholders.

Fan Packs
Digital packs helped people become Welsh fans through engaging content, and we shipped 1,000 bespoke gift packs around the world – from small mementos to watch party packs for Welsh societies and embassies, and even VIP packs for celebs.

Cultural ambassadors like Colin Jackson represented our nation in Doha and beyond — creating media moments for global focus. And a special rainbow version of the bucket hat became a powerful symbol for Welsh values. When one of Wales’ ambassadors — Laura McAllister — was asked to remove her rainbow hat while queuing to enter the stadium, we worked to ignite a much-needed conversation about diversity and equality.

The Result

“This was pure partnership, and the catalyst for that was the Welsh Government campaign. We brought Cymru to the world stage… our values; our language; our music; our bucket hats…you name it. We won the World Cup off the pitch.”
— Noel Mooney, CEO, Football Association of Wales

“Who would have known that a small nation of three million people would have had that kind of impact in our first World Cup in 64 years.” \
— Prof Laura McAllister, UEFA Vice-President

The campaign raised awareness of our nation and values; secured global PR coverage; and has given Wales the firmest of foundations on which to build strong international relationships, trade and tourism.

— Wales’ global share of voice grew from 1% to 7% (Halo Impact Report)
— 40% increase in global mentions
— 90,141,626 impressions (+175% on forecast)
— 45,882,358 video views (+204%)
— 677,999 traffic to (+1,080%)

— 66 interviews on global outlets including Reuters, Al Jazeera, Washington Post, France24 created 17.9bn opportunities to see media coverage

— Following pressure from Wales and others on LGBT rights, and the worldwide media coverage achieved, FIFA made a global policy change to allow rainbow-themed apparel in stadia. This also contributed towards Laura McAllister becoming the first ever representative from Wales to be elected to the board of UEFA shortly afterwards
— The innovative partnership-led approach has created a legacy – a powerful model for Government to promote Wales internationally.