Getting ready for the future with WSP
Technology & Innovation
Watch our case study video:
WSP is one of the world’s largest engineering consultancy firms, with more than 50,000 people in 170 offices around the globe. They employ some of the brightest brains in the industry to help their clients devise innovative and truly future-ready solutions to complex challenges that impact the built and natural environments.
The term thought leadership gets banded around quite a bit, but in WSP’s case, the knowledge they have of how to shape communities and help societies thrive is genuinely cutting edge. This has given them the unique and distinct advantage of being able to predict what our future communities and societies might look like too.
WSP was keen to communicate its leaders’ expertise and vision for the future to target audiences in the Middle East through an engaging content marketing campaign. But how do you even begin to depict and engage audiences with a future world that doesn’t exist yet? That was our challenge.
Following some in-depth research and insight, we identified social media – in particular, LinkedIn – as a key channel for the campaign activation. Our strategy was to leverage WSP’s existing audience to drive awareness of its Future Ready programme among a wider network of decision-makers in the region.
Our first step was to design and build a dedicated digital hub called WSP Anticipate to house all the brand’s rich thought leadership content under the Future Ready campaign banner, including opinion pieces, research articles, reports and whitepapers.
Minimal design and dynamic animations make the site feel seamless to use and visually striking. We also pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with WordPress to give the client greater design capabilities within the CMS, with an extensive selection of page styles and layouts helping to keep the site feeling fresh.
The microsite created for WSP Anticipate received an honourable mention from awwwards.
Reading about the future is one thing, but seeing somebody talk about it passionately and confidently is something else entirely. That’s why the core of our campaign was centred around a series of engaging films that put WSP’s leaders in the spotlight, talking about key issues that pose challenges and present opportunities for our people and places – specifically around technology, mobility, placemaking and society.
Shooting on location in the UAE, we interviewed WSP experts from all over the Middle East and recorded 22 separate, 40-minute interviews, which we then condensed down and edited into three separate films that are roughly three minutes in length, plus a shorter campaign trailer.
Our interview style allowed all the subjects to speak openly, authentically and at length about their individual specialist fields. We didn’t want stock answers about what the future held, we wanted honest and passionate answers that would excite and engage viewers, and our questioning really helped to draw that out.
By far the biggest creative challenge was depicting a future that doesn’t exist yet. We responded to this by interspersing the interviews with lifestyle footage that helps to convey how the future might feel as opposed to how it will look, utilising captivating shots supported by bespoke music and SFX that helps to give a sense of movement and kinetic energy.
Watch the campaign trailer:
The end result is a series of films that really challenge what is typical of thought leadership content from the engineering sector, with videos that could just as easily be seen on Netflix as they are on LinkedIn.
We edited the longer films into a suite of shorter edits for WSP’s social media channels, ranging from 40-second previews that hook viewers in through to 10-second soundbite teasers that pose a question or prevailing thought. We also developed snappy edits using the concept of on-screen speed reading to communicate key information in an impactful way.
The campaign has been a huge success, bringing WSP’s Future Ready vision to life and positioning the brand and its leaders as real experts in their industry. Not only that, it’s also helped to engage employees across the business and get them on board. In fact, it’s been so successful that other WSP’s global divisions are now keen to explore running similar campaigns too.