British Council — #Shakespearenofilter

An Instagram re-imagining of Shakespeare for millennials


Marking the 400th anniversary of his death, use Shakespeare to promote Britain as a cultural centre for education & travel to European millennials.


Our audience perceive Shakespeare to be tricky to read, unconnected to their lives and the long-form-prose ultimately quite boring. So, we decided to prove that Shakespeare’s stories are a timeless commentary on the human condition, as relevant to young people today as they were four hundred years ago.


We brought Shakespeare’s characters back to life through the lens of Instagram. Two of his most famous stories were re-told in an modern context, exploring issues facing millennials today — from sexuality to cyber-bullying… via drink-spiking!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream followed an indie band from London called The Biologicals on a mayhem-filled tour of Europe, and Hamlet was reincarnated as a 29-year-old German designer working for his deceased father’s design magazine G-Trude, during a hostile takeover.

Each story was told over 4 weeks, using selfies, painstakingly-composed vignettes and emoji-filled captions strewn with Shakespeare’s original prose. We even had peripheral characters pop-up for some sarcastic trolling on the images and videos!


  • 12.6 million campaign impressions — 30% over target
  • 430k engagements — 23% over target
  • 62% increase in Instagram Followers

Perhaps best of all, the campaign was such a success it caught the attention of the National Youth Theatre, leading to a third adaptation bringing their production of Romeo & Juliet from the stage to Instagram!