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Learning from history: How figures of the past drove knowledge and success


Following the lockdown in March 2020, businesspeople were overwhelmed with promotional content on digital channels as the vast majority of marketing spend moved online. To stand out amid the noise, we created a campaign featuring striking images of historical figures – and the results were startling.


CirrusHQ are one of the UK’s leading public cloud service providers and was the first and only of AWS’s UK Consulting Partners to hold both its Education Competency and its Well-Architected Framework certification. The company had grown steadily via word-of-mouth – particularly in the education sector through its work with world-famous institutions such as the University of Oxford – but the brand was largely unknown outside of its immediate network of contacts. In September 2020, with fresh funding and a mandate for growth, MD Daemonn Brody charged us with the responsibility of securing net new accounts from both the educational and commercial sector.


We had already created a number of assets – including case studies of the work CirrusHQ had done for Scottish Television and the University of Oxford – which could be used in the campaign; but it lacked a hero asset that would serve as its center piece. They therefore created a practical guide – ‘Five Reasons Your Organization Already Needs the Cloud.’ This was to be promoted in three ways: a series of LinkedIn sponsored updates featuring several famous historical characters; Google AdWords-based PPC activity; and third party Solus emails distributed by Education Technology.


All leads – whether from LinkedIn, Google or Solus emails – were driven to a landing page where they entered their contact details. The form had a drop-down list where prospects indicated their level of experience with AWS as this would impact the type of services CirrusHQ might offer them. Depending on their answer, they were then sent to one of two different content hubs: each one offered the opportunity to download the hero asset and also served up a range of different assets appropriate to their familiarity with AWS. The same approach was used for educational and commercial targets, with Enigma therefore creating two versions of the landing page and four variations of the content hub.

Creative Approach

To ensure creative cut-through in a cluttered market, the campaign used easily-identified historical figures and copy that reflected the things for which they were most famous – but which also drew attention to the capabilities of CirrusHQ. So, a picture of Albert Einstein was used with the line, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change,” which highlighted the need to move to the cloud. An image of Florence Nightingale (the Lady with the Lamp) was used with the strapline, “Shining a guiding light on your journey to the cloud,” to indicate the support CirrusHQ provided to its customers as they migrated off-premise.