Launched as a pilot event in 2017, Sandstorm was part of the ongoing campaign by the RNLI to engage with new audiences, increase sign up, and take a more robust presence in the community. The 5k/10k obstacle course took place on Bournemouth beach and was aimed at competitors looking for a physical challenge that was accessible to all ages and fitness levels. The brief was to create a ‘standout, engaging and adaptable’ identity for the pilot event, targeting the ‘starting out’ and ‘settling down’ life segments.

bbd created all outdoor signage for the event, as well as the entry pack, microsite and social media campaign to drive sign up. We applied audience insights to define messaging that positioned Sandstorm as a twist on the normal fun run. It had to be challenging, sociable and fun. Key to reaching the sign-up target was finding the messaging ‘sweet spot’ that would establish Sandstorm alongside Tough Mudder, ParkRun and other events without encroaching on their territory, as well as keeping the RNLI’s fundraising mission front of mind.