2016 has been a funny old year for retail. Second only to house prices as the barometer of economic stability, the ups and downs of the high street have never been far from the headlines. As we all (or possibly only those that work in marketing) await the arrival of the Christmas ads, it’s never been as important to ensure that what is promised on screen, is delivered in store.
We have all become very used to the Christmas ads that that dial up our emotional response. In more recent years retailers have partnered with charities, in some part to salve the prickly collective conscience about mass consumption. It’s a strategy which so far has worked well. It delivers financially for the retailers (Rachel Swift of John Lewis, speaking at Effectiveness Week last week, said that the ROI delivered by their Christmas ad overshadows all other campaigns in terms of sales, let alone brand value); it helps remind us that Christmas above all else is a time for humanity and compassion. And a handful of charities get a much needed boost to their fundraising. But will emotional response be enough this year?
Read more of Jo's blog on The Drum, here
The Paralympics is over for another four years and I for one am feeling a little bereft. And also a bit uncomfortable.
Seeing so many impressive athletes at the peak of fitness with skills that go beyond imagining was a stark reminder about how invisible people with disabilities can often be. It’s not just on the track and field where we saw greater representation than we are used to either; in the studio and on the airwaves, the world suddenly seemed like a much more inclusive place. Until the ads came on.
Channel 4’s brilliant coverage of the Games will undoubtedly have helped to change perceptions of people with disabilities and encourage other broadcasters around the world to prioritise and celebrate Paralympic sport. It recognised that its approach should be echoed in advertising too and so it threw down the gauntlet to creatives. ‘Superhumans wanted’ challenged brands to feature disability in their ads to win £1m of commercial airtime with the launch taking place during the Paralympic opening ceremony.
The winner, Maltesers, built on its ‘Look on the Light Side’ theme with characters taking a humorous look at awkward and embarrassing situations, all inspired by real-life stories from disabled people. It is a brilliant piece of work, and notably unique in terms of how front and centre the actors with disability are. But that can’t be it. Disability represented in the media needs to be as ubiquitous as it is in our society – according to Leonard Cheshire, one in six of us will be affected by a disability. This is not a minority issue.
To read more from Jo's blog, visit The Drum, here
This week, hashtags got me thinking.
Whilst having a look through the entries from Cannes Lions 2016, I was delighted to see a campaign that used hashtags for good; a campaign that got people talking about something extremely important, but that also turned a hashtag into a solution to a huge problem.
I’m really not one for using hashtags on my personal social media accounts; usually the furthest I go is either using #nofilter when I clearly have (oh the irony) or when I genuinely haven’t. It just seems that hashtags are mainly used because a brand felt they needed one, or because people want more followers. Which, you know, is fine – but it’s all very egotistical.
McCann Lima’s campaign ‘Hashtags for Life’ for the Peruvian Red Cross aimed to solve one problem; in Peru there is a population of over 30,000,000, but there was only a database of 1,250 voluntary blood donors. So, they developed a dynamic platform for the Red Cross which categorised all volunteers by blood type. All people needed to do was hashtag their blood type followed by ‘Peru’, e.g. #OPOSITIVEPERU. The result? 22,983 new volunteers. Which is why it was shortlisted for the Grand Prix for Good award.
This is a great example of how social cause campaigns are achieving great success by using social platforms to elevate their messages, and turn talking into action. For further thoughts on social causes and platforms and how they come together to form outstanding results, see Jo’s article on The Drum, here:
We Made This
Back in October 2015 we proudly announced that our 'virtual blood donation' idea won the Interactive category in Ocean Outdoor's Digital Creative competition. Worth £100,000 in free outdoor media for our client, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) all that remained was for us to make our vision a reality.
Fast forward 8 months and the time is finally here for members of the public to experience virtual blood donation for the first time.
From the 18th to 22nd May shoppers on Birmingham New Street and in Westfield Shepherds Bush will have the opportunity to become a virtual blood donor and see the life-saving transformation of patients before their eyes. We're aiming to inspire those who have never given blood before to register to donate blood for the first time.
The engagement and impact of this activity will driven by two firsts:
1. The development of an augmented reality app that triggers animation on Ocean Outdoor's large format screens. The image on the screens features an empty blood bag and an ill patient. Visual recognition is used to detect a sticker on a participant's arm which then overlays an AR needle, plaster and tube. This triggers the blood bag on the screen to fill up and the virtual donor can watch as the image of the sick patient gradually returns to health
2. The use of three people whose lives have been saved by blood transfusions, transforming them from ill to well. We know from NHSBT research that true stories of lives being saved by the generosity of blood donors has the most impact in driving new donor registrations. However, this is the first time blood recipients have featured in a campaign in this visually powerful way (or had to pose as models!)
In addition to the experiential activity, we'll be ensuring everyone has the chance to see our patient transformations across paid social media. It has been a real labour of love for all concerned and a hugely collaborative process which we're incredibly proud of.
Special thanks go to NHS Blood and Transplant, Ocean Outdoor, Jolly Good Digital, Smoke and Mirrors, Julian Calverley and Claire Louise.
Article first published by Marketing on 31.03.2016
This month saw the launch of Public Health England's One You campaign, a major new initiative that puts the spotlight on adult health, writes Jane Asscher, CEO and Founding Partner at 23red, and co-author of the Change4Life strategy.
It’s a campaign motivated in part by the need to reduce the £11bn we spend each year, via the NHS, treating avoidable illness and disease.
It’s six years since the Department of Health launched Change4Life, starting its long-standing crusade against childhood obesity.
Both brands have a clear aim – to enable and encourage people to make better choices about health. But the world today is very different.
It is almost compulsory today to talk about behavioural theory as part of a campaign strategy, and its teachings are evident in what we have seen to date of One You.
When Change4Life was developed, the Cabinet Office’s behavioural policy framework, MINDSPACE, was yet to launch, and the credible weaving of nudge type theory into planning was yet to happen on a mass scale.
We are also used to the interplay between harm and hope in issues-based marketing, but the speed in which we offer hope has now been supercharged as we know that health harm messages by themselves are less likely to change behaviour, so hope messages need to be accelerated.
The rise of social media in issues marketing
So campaigns today, including One You, are designed to set up and resolve an issue far faster than when we launched Change4Life. This is something made possible by increased personalisation through digital media.
Our willingness (or in some cases, our obsession) with socialising our lives was present in 2010, but not on such a big scale - Snapchat and Instagram weren’t even words. When Change4Life launched the ‘How Are the Kids’ survey, it was much more about the offline, paper-based version that went to parents via schools, GP surgeries and partners.
At that time, it wasn’t an expectation that people would share with peers through social channels. Fast forward six years and that has completely changed.
The creation of campaigns that are shareable have gathered pace in the last few years. #ThisGirlCan wore its strategy on its sleeve and to great effect, reportedly winning a quarter of a million social mentions in the first month.
It also developed a unique and highly sophisticated algorithm that enabled messages to be served in response to women sharing a moment of weakness (a #ThisGirlCan’tBeBothered moment perhaps) through social channels.
The debate about where the line is to be drawn is one that rages on, but it feels that this at least is a good use of technology steering us in a positive direction.
Local communities are still necessary for change
The Health and Social Care Act 2012, gave responsibility for health improvements to Local Authorities, a role which means that they have the responsibility and the appetite to talk to their own communities in ways specific to local need. This has led to something of a re-emergence of communities as a force for change – on and offline.
When planning a national campaign, One You has a distinct advantage by starting out with local very clearly in mind. Collaborating with Local Authorities, One You has a head start on engaging people with issues that really matter to them, and in providing solutions that are highly locally relevant.
Regardless of where people sit on the devolution argument, it is clear from the data that different areas of the country are differently challenged when it comes to health issues.
Therefore the ability to localise is essential, and an area in which the government appears to be leading the way and where only a few brands, so far, have followed.
In many ways there are more similarities than differences between Change4Life and One You.
Both set out to make changing as easy as it can be by providing simple actions framed in a motivating way.
Both, too, draw heavily on the power of the messenger, by working with partners. And both are based on smart insights about human behaviour, played back to change that behavior.
So what difference has six years made? The fact that we now know more, and apply more behavioural-based thinking means we can be more effective, we can prompt people to take better actions, sooner. People sharing and being comfortable with that sharing shaping their online experience, means we can more accurately target people right at that moment of influence.
If we are driven to be more locally minded, more community-centric, it means we can be increasingly relevant to those that we desperately need to influence.
Combined, this should mean that we can bring about more sustained change, faster. And given the huge task that campaigns like One You and Change4Life face, we all very much hope that it does.
For more about the value of different media channels, click here to read Hamish Pringle's blog on The Drum.
We Made This
23red has helped recruit over 35 partners to join with NHS Blood and Transplant for the second year of the `Sign for Life' campaign, which runs from 27 February to 13 March 2016 and asks football and rugby fans to “join our team” and sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
On average, three people die each day in need of a transplant and there are around 6,500 people in the UK on the waiting list. Despite a 50% increase in deceased donors over the past five years, there are still not enough organs being donated.
With 23red's support, NHS Blood and Transplant is aiming to create a revolution in public behaviour in relation to organ donation so that attitudes change and people will be proud to donate, when and if they can.
Developing impactful marketing activity with partners is vital to this strategy. Behavioural science highlights the importance of the messenger when trying to change behaviour. So when a club and its players champion a cause and ask a supporter to take action, they are more likely to receive a positive response. And when they use social media they spread the conversation far and wide.
Football and rugby clubs also help us reach key audiences who are underrepresented on the NHS Organ Donor Register and are typically harder to engage through traditional marketing channels.
The 'Sign for Life' partners come from across the Premiership, Championship, League One and League Two football clubs, and also include football associations and charities. This year rugby clubs have been included for the first time. The objective is to urge fans to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and have a conversation about organ donation with their family and loved ones, as NHS Blood and Transplant will ultimately need them to support donation going ahead.
As Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of so many top teams and organisations for this campaign. It is brilliant that they have recognised how important it is to encourage their fans to think about organ donation and to join our life saving team to help make a real difference and potentially help to save and improve the lives of others.”
To find out more about the 2016 'Sign for Life' campaign and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register click here.
You can also follow the campaign online using #signforlife.
For more on how a challenger brand can break through, click here to read Hamish Pringle's latest blog for The Drum.
This Christmas, spare a thought for the retailers
Disability in advertising shouldn’t be something we only see once every four years
Can a hashtag save a life?
See the power of blood donation
How behavioural theory and social media influenced Public Health England’s ‘One You’
- Jane Asscher
- Sean Kinmont
- Hamish Pringle
- Philippa Dunning
- Sam Edwards
- Tristan Cavanagh
- Lauren Lukasiewicz
- Jo Arden
- Wendy Manuel
- Scott Smith
- Anna Stone
- Ann-Marie Droughton-Hall
- Nick Cooper
- Chris Macmorland
- Hayley Cocker
- Ruth Stasiak
- Charles Oben
- Tilly Wilson
- Steve Meredith
- Emma Taylor
- Lily Cameron