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
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.
I’m excited this week by discovering that I can eat delicious food at the Bombay café chain, Dishoom, and in return they feed a child in need through the NGO, Akshaya Patra Foundation. This is marvellous, it means that I can feed myself and my conscience – a combination that makes for very good digestion. This is not new, cause-related marketing (specifically the idea that part of what a customer pays, is gifted on to a charity), it is tried and tested. What is new, however, is the way in which an increasing number of consumers, are actively making choices based on whether a brand does this kind of thing.
It’s no longer niche for brands to have a purpose, and there are many ways in which they can share that purpose and invite others to join them. But whether it is donating money; expertise; product; innovating to reduce impact; emissions; campaigning or lobbying; or simply changing their product range to ensure it has a positive impact, the way in which it is communicated is vitally important.
Doing too little and saying too much and a brand will get found out – but conversely doing plenty and not talking about it has its pitfalls too. Consumers want to know what brands are doing, in this climate, keeping 'schtum' doesn’t come off as sincere, it comes off as secretive. Furthermore, it is only by brands talking about their higher order purpose and what they are doing to deliver on that purpose, that others will feel the pressure to up their game too.
Unilever are widely quoted on this topic, and rightly so, because they are making great strides, particularly in the area on sustainability. In my view, one of the things that makes them stand out is their desire to help others change too. They famously make their packaging innovations open source so that other manufacturers and the world can benefit too.
The power shift in which we are seeing consumers being more demanding about the brands they patronise is happening right now. There is an imperative for brands to make considered, but expedient choices. But what about the future, and the new range of ethical challenges we will have to face? Hamish Pringle looks at one of the most controversial in this month’s article for The Drum – The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We Made This
Advertising has had to become socialized as digital becomes an extension of self. Staying culturally relevant isn’t just a battle of “cool” for a brand but a necessity to survive. Our audiences have a shorter attention span, less time for our comms and more distractions than ever before. That seems like quite a daunting challenge when your message is one of great importance, when you’re trying to save lives. As Jim Carroll recently said “Don’t distract attention, find the center of it. “
This phrase was top of mind for me when we were asked to raise awareness of organ donation in a way that would normalize the subject, create conversation and drive sign ups. The question was what channel or platform held the attention of our audience and how could we use it to simply convey our message? We found that our audience spent around 2 hours a day (on average) on online connection apps like Tinder, ignoring our “traditional” comms to focus on their social lives. Organ donation never entered their universe.
The mechanic of “finding a match” on Tinder was the perfect way to house our disruptive messaging. It allowed us to raise awareness of one of the key issues in organ donation, how hard it is to find an organ “match” for those in need on the waiting list, whilst normalizing the topic via the popular cultural platform.
Together with Tinder we created celebrity-backed profiles that were pushed to Tinder users in the UK. When our users “swiped right” to match with their celebrity, they received a message that stated “If only it was that easy for those in need of a life-saving organ to find a match.” The users are then able to register via a hyperlink directly from the app. This “nudge” intercepted their habitual “swiping” behaviour and resulted in marked sign ups to the NHS Organ Donation Register. The power of a disruptive message delivered through a culturally normalised channel. Not distracting their attention from the platform but harnessing it.
The partnership between the NHS and Tinder has achieved global reach with over 24 million impressions on social media and during the two weeks of the partnership, the direct weblink accounted for 16% of all click throughs to the organ donation website.
Thanks to the massive amount of press coverage we received, conversation about the subject rocketed, therefore helping to start to normalise it. Normalisation requires the bravery to join the audience where their attention lies and this is what we have sought to achieve.
For more challenges and opportunities facing brands in 2016 see Hamish's latest thought piece 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