How we helped O2 build a band to rock some of the UK’s finest venues

Last week saw the culmination of the latest stage of our work with O2 on their Think Big campaign.

For those not familiar with it, O2 Think Big is the network’s Youth and Environment campaign platform. Amongst many other things it offer grants to young people to help them undertake projects in their communities.

Each year, Think Big runs a series of gigs to celebrate the projects who have benefitted from its support – alongside some top musical talent.

We were asked to come up with a way of making the gigs last beyond a single evening – turning them into a five month campaign for the brand.

So we pitched the idea that – if O2 Think Big is about supporting young people with talent to take the stage – we should create a band from scratch and give some new musicians the opportunity to do just that.

We teamed up with the legend and champion of new music that is Huw Stephens and set about a nationwide search for ten new talents to come together, write, rehearse and perform original tracks at each of four gigs across the country.

We did everything from creating a brand new O2ThinkBigBand website to take the hundreds of entries to running a media and social media campaign to bring people to it.

And scored over 50 pieces of national, regional and music title coverage along the way.

We worked with music schools and charities across the land to get to new talent.

Finally, we spent a happy day sifting to a final ten bands members with Huw, O2 Think Big and Simon Gogerly (Grammy Award winning producer).

We brought those final ten to London to meet and make beautiful music together – creating a 20 minute set of entirely original songs.

We committed the whole experience to film – working with the guys at GRMDaily – so we had content to show the story from start to finish.

And of course we scored a shed load more coverage promoting our new band along the way – another 30 or so pieces on our little cherubs.

Since then we’ve been managing their tour across the O2 ABC in Glasgow, the O2 Academies in Liverpool and Birmingham. And finally – last night in fact – the band played their final gig at London’s IndigO2, supporting no one less than Ms Rita Ora.

There are a lot of tired but happy people here this morning. It’s fair to say the band smashed it. It’s been a (quite literally) rock n roll ride.

If you’re interested in what they sound like, you couldn’t do better than watch these films, which follow their story and show their sets from across the country …

Props go to all manner of people who helped us along the way – Huw and Simon, Jess at Wise Buddah, the boys at Pitch n Sync, the GRMDaily team, Chris Crichlow, the O2 Think Big team, Charlie and Adam at Sledge, Tinchy Strider, Rita Ora (and Richard her tour manager), Chipmunk, Noisettes, Mystery Jets, Rudimental, Sway … and no doubt a host of others besides.

And big thanks go to our band of marvellous new talents, Ryan, Matt, Fazi, Grace, Anna, Pepstar, Ed, Izzy, Jonathan, Rich. An epic and amazing bunch of people.

Mental. But fun.