The answer was Mission Everest. Bear Grylls approached GKN to sponsor him by providing equipment and resources for his attempt to paraglide to the same altitude as the summit of Everest, 29,092 feet, using a custom made, high altitude engine. Such a dangerous flight had never been attempted before.
The adventure aimed to inspire employees and to raise money in lots of different ways by "reaching the ceiling of the impossible". To motivate them and communicate the feat to various external audiences, Excite was appointed to build a website and intranet for the public, media and employees so that they could follow every facet of how the mission was going.
As temperatures were sub-zero, our challenge was to ensure it was possible to communicate consistently from Everest base camp. We scoped and were responsible for the purchase of rugged telecommunications equipment to ensure the transmission of video, stills and social media content such as written and video blogs from the basecamp via satellite. Everything was uploaded in real-time to the website, and the intranet at Excite in London, 7,410 kilometres away. Communications also allowed the team at base camp to answer questions and blog responses posted on the website by individuals coming to the site.
The sites explained every aspect of the project including weather conditions (from feeds that were commissioned especially to show Everest weather), the development of the highly engineered motor, living at base camp, the team of experts from GKN, Bear's daily blog, the dangers of flying in the Himalayas and lots of other interactive content.
Bear Grylls achieved his ambition on the first attempt. The project was incredibly successful and with GKN matching every pound raised by their employees, £2.4million was donated to Global Angels, a global children's charity.
It was a project of a lifetime for Excite.
Reaching the impossible.
Helping Bear Grylls reach the ceiling of the impossible, while engaging 40,000 GKN employees.