The Big Issue is a UK street magazine which offers a new hope for homeless and vulnerably housed people. When coronavirus lockdowns hit, Big Issue vendors were unable to sell on the high streets and saw their livelihoods erased. So FCB Inferno recreated the sales model digitally on LinkedIn. The agency used location data to find the businesspeople who worked in the area where the vendors used to sell, thus reconnecting them with old customers who had walked by them every day. They upskilled digitally in the process, changing perceptions about what Big Issue vendors could accomplish.
What did the judges have to say?
"In a year where every brand was figuring out how to digitise its business, it would be easier for The Big Issue to digitise its publications and call it a day. Instead, it stuck to its brand promise of helping those facing poverty, and used data and social to pivot the business around the most important part - the vendors on ground. This is just one of those clever ideas that had both societal impact AND social impact, utilising a professional platform (LinkedIn) and turning it on its head. It really redefined what we understand as ‘key opinion leaders’ and used location data to digitise existing physical networks and elevated its experience in such a clever way. In the areas of social impact, LinkedIn, geo-location and redefining the ‘influencer’ model, it’s truly best of show."Airina Imran, Creative Director, Ogilvy
"It captured what was so needed during the pandemic. We talk a lot about offline to online, and this is one of the best examples of why and how to do it. I just hope that this is a lasting business model transformation for The Big Issue and most importantly, its vendors."Ronald Ng, Global Chief Creative Officer, MRM//Mccann
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