Discovering Britain’s Personal Best

Maybe it’s a sign of my age, but I don’t recognize this country anymore. Everything’s changed.

When I was a lad you knew who you were and what it meant to be British. Now look at us.

A Brit wins Wimbledon. We beat the Aussies at Rugby and have made a great start in the Ashes. As if that wasn’t enough, a British rider wins the Tour de France, not once but twice.

Even the weather has changed. After eight months of Never Ending Winter, July has seen the UK basking in tropical temperatures. In the words of Charlie Sheen, we’re #WINNING.

Of course, this years sporting triumphs are the sequel to the glories of the London 2012 Games. It seems the Olympics have had a lasting effect on the British psyche. A YouGov Poll conducted over the weekend revealed nearly two in every three adults (64%) agreed that London 2012 was about more than just sport, with 65% agreeing that keeping the spirit of London 2012 is important.

Britain's Personal Best

It’s fitting then that yesterday saw the launch of Britain’s Personal Best – a Big Lottery funded campaign to keep the spirit of 2012 alive, by encouraging charities, schools, community organisations and individuals to strive to achieve their own personal best, be it in sports, arts, education or enterprise.

It’s the brainchild of Steve Moore, and has been launched with a campaign video featuring TV presenter Charlie Webster, Disability campaigner Martyn Sibley, and the Poet Musa Okwonga. His impassioned narrative states that: “It’s time to make Olympians out of regular people.”

Before 2012, this is the kind of sentiment that would have left many Brits feeling queasy. If Nike’s famous ‘Just Do It’ slogan had been invented in the UK, it would have read “Just Consider It”. But today it feels believable, if not quite achievable.

Make no mistake – life in the UK is far from perfect. Although it’s easy to forget within the confines of Adland, we are still living in the Age of Austerity. But in spite of this, (some might argue because of this) Britain’s sense of identity is being reborn as a challenger brand that is taking on all comers and winning against the odds.

If this is all a dream, don’t pinch me. I don’t want to wake up.

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