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Celebrating surprises through social media videos for NS&I

How does surprise feel? Imagine it now. Intensified feelings of ‘what’ and of ‘wow’!

Our Facebook social media videos for NS&I Premium Bonds are now live. For many years, only the £1 million jackpot winners have captured the limelight. However, for a change we thought it would be good to celebrate the millions of other smaller prize winners.

Every month ERNIE generates random numbers for nearly two million prizes ranging from £25 up to £1 million. But here’s what most Bond holders don’t realise; 88% of the total prize fund is shared among winnings less than £100. That’s rather a significant amount of small surprises!

Following our other work for NS&I, we began by looking for a way to help NS&I’s customers celebrate these little surprises through social media. But not just their wins on Premium Bonds. We also wanted to celebrate the everyday little surprises that lift our spirits, make us gasp and leave us in fits of giggles. The quirky little things in life that catch us unaware and make us want to tell someone about it.

So we decided to create a series of short video clips that we could use throughout the year on Facebook. They would show people experiencing not so everyday situations – little interventions and unexpected surprises that we call an #ERNIEmoment. Many of these short clips would relate to a calendar event that is linked to seasonal surprises such as Halloween, Christmas, the World Cup, summer festivals, exam results and so on. And each post would encourage customers to share their own #ERNIEmoment on Facebook.

To bring these scenarios to life, we captured real people reacting to real surprises we had set up in advance. Our shoot took us along the seafront, to a funfair, in the park, a back garden and among the rock pools. Because we wanted to capture real reactions, quite often the cast were kept in the dark about the surprise they were about to experience. It gave us some of the most natural physical responses of what they call ‘fight or flight’, and resulted in a whole range of authentic shocked, amazed and delighted facial expressions – all captured on a Red Dragon 6k movie camera in slow motion.

We chose to create a short video that would introduce these delightful and remarkable everyday surprises, on social media. We asked a psychologist to help us fully understand the human behaviours we all experience during a surprising event. Dr Tania Luna from surpriseindustries.com came on board to help us comprehend the science behind the what, why and how of this brief mental and physiological state. With all the facts at our fingertips we needed an accessible and engaging way to bring these human behaviours to life. That’s when we got in touch with our own emotions and crafted a poem that not only described the psychology behind the physical and emotional reactions to surprises, but also complemented the beautiful footage we had captured.

Take a look at the end result on facebook.com/premiumbonds and remember to share your own #ERNIEmoment.

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