Co-op has launched a new multi-million pound advertising campaign and proposition that champions its investment back into communities.
The campaign reflects how Co-op runs its businesses differently because it is owned by its members, not by shareholders. Created by Lucky Generals, it is the first time all three of Co-op’s modern businesses – food, insurance and funeralcare – have been brought together into one overarching marketing strategy. In addition to this, Co-op has focused on weaving its commercial and community messaging together with the whole campaign encapsulated by the new strapline: “It’s what we do.”
Through paid and earned channels, the story will be told about how Co-op creates products of differentiation, from backing British farmers with its 100 per cent British meat commitment to how far reaching its community initiatives are and how many millions of pounds are being reinvested.
Matt Atkinson, chief membership officer, Co-op said: “Building stronger communities by being a stronger Co-op is what we do. We already run our businesses differently to most and this means we can do things that benefit our members and their communities and not just a small group of institutional investors in the City of London.
“The success of our ethical-led business means we can re-invest our profits and our plan is to use our profits to rally people to come together to care for their local community. This is about the power of co-operation and it’s what we’ve been doing for 175 years.”
Ali Jones, customer director, Co-op, said: “We exist not only to make a profit by doing good things, but also to do good things with the money we receive. As we enter an era where consumers are increasingly demanding that businesses take a lead in improving their communities, we need to seize our opportunity, decisively. In particular, we need to communicate our co-operative difference and show that it’s not just a token gesture, it’s what we do.”
Co-op’s membership scheme means that one percent of what Members spend on own-brand products goes back to local community causes. Members are also able to choose which groups they would like to support online. Since its launch in 2016, Co-op’s Local Community Fund has helped over 12,000 causes with a share of £39M.
Additionally, Co-op supports the Co-op Academies Trust, which currently operates 20 educational academies, from schools to colleges, in some of the country’s most in need areas. Co-op also employs 250 Co-op Member Pioneers who work in the heart of communities to directly help individuals and groups.
The new integrated campaign, Lucky Generals' first work for the brand since winning the business, marries the commerce and community messaging together, through creative based on stories of real-life beneficiaries of Co-op’s Local Community Fund and other initiatives that Co-op supports.
The campaign demonstrates the powerful difference Co-op makes in the world while building long-term understanding of its offering and driving cut-through with modern shoppers who want the businesses they use to do more than pay lip service to CSR.
Helen Calcraft, Lucky Generals founder, said: “Co-op is an incredible organisation, whose values are more relevant than ever. This is a big idea that can unite all its activities and capture what makes it so special.”
The media strategy, created by Dentsu Aegis Network, focuses on a two-pronged approach. First driving mass awareness of all three business units and their messages. The first TVC broke during Britain’s Got Talent on 18th May with three ads appearing in one ad break.
The second focuses on hyper-local targeting, driving personal relevance and linking to local causes. There will be 120 out of home executions with a message personalised specifically for the area it is located, while 222 local cinemas will serve ads with dynamic end-frames, again showing specific causes in that area.