A FOUNDATION OF SUPPORT

TitleA FOUNDATION OF SUPPORT
BrandWHICH?
Category B02. Use of Audio Platforms
Product/ServiceCOVID-19 CONSUMER ADVICE
Entrant CRAFT MEDIA London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation CRAFT MEDIA London, UNITED KINGDOM
Media Placement CRAFT MEDIA London, UNITED KINGDOM
Media Placement 2 GOODSTUFF COMMUNICATIONS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Laura Sweeney Craft Media London Head of Clients
Caroline Manning Craft Media London Strategy Partner

Why is this work relevant for Media?

This is the story about the power of media to deliver credibility and support when the British public needed it most. It's about how during a period of confusion and panic a national institution, Which? came to the fore to give consumers confidence and the right advice when they didn't know who else to turn to. This was about using radio for good - it wasn't focused on driving subscriptions, but about doing the right thing. Giving the public one less thing to worry about, whilst delivering strong brand scores to boot.

Background

Which? is a British non-profit, independent, consumer rights organisation who offer unbiased, fair advice, and are always on the side of the British public. Founded by the people for the people, Which? is a champion for change and has successfully campaigned for lead-free paint in toys, safer electric blankets and seat belts in cars. In April 2020 Which? had a brand campaign ready to launch – a year-long piece demonstrating their rigorous product testing process to boost brand perception…. then the pandemic hit; and suddenly telling people how rigorously we test a blender seemed less important, relevant or interesting…. We saw an opportunity to pivot, and adapt committed spend into a new campaign to help people during this crisis. We wanted to make sure that people understood that Which? was there to help with free consumer rights advice and that Which? is an organisation that works to make things better.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

As the pandemic evolved at pace, millions of UK consumers were affected by holiday cancellations and scams. We saw people’s finances suffer due to price gouging and most did not know their consumer rights around deliveries and returns. When the world was uncertain, and consumers did not know who to trust, we positioned Which? as a trustworthy, credible and reliable source of information to get people through. Consistent, Credible, Human As a brand, Which? has all the credentials to give advice – but is simply not thought of by consumers! We knew that Which? had to behave with confidence if consumers were going to turn to the brand for help. This meant, positioning Which? as an authority, providing the best advice when people needed it most. As the COVID-19 situation changed daily, we chose dynamic, live content over pre-recorded ads to maximise relevance, using voices that consumers would instinctively trust.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

We didn’t have a specific target audience in mind for his campaign – as we wanted to give free advice to anyone who needed it. So instead, we thought about where people would be seeking information and advice. As the pandemic unfolded in the UK, the ratings of informative news programmes had grown exponentially. 38% of radio listeners were listening for longer than before the pandemic (source OFCOM). Everyone was trying to understand and make sense of the ongoing situation. Presenters such as Nick Ferrari had incredible levels of credibility and talking radio stations pivoted to almost become public service announcers. We partnered with Global radio and Wireless to hand select conversation-first stations, where we knew people would be tuning in to hear the latest - LBC, TalkRadio and TalkSport. Rather than simply placing ads on these stations we integrated Which? into their authoritative editorial alongside their most trusted presenters.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Spanning multiple presenters, shows and days of the week, we created a schedule of feature shows throughout April and May (the peak of lockdown in the UK). We identified a different topic each week – from travel, to scams, price gouging and shopping rights – based upon what the rising concerns were from consumers (using Google search & Which? enquiry data). The presenter was briefed to discuss the topic (enabling them to use their own style and fit into the editorial of the show) and we arranged for a resident Which? expert to join (socially distanced on the phone) to be on-hand to answer key questions from listeners that each station were receiving. At the end of each feature show, listeners would be directed to the Which? website where we had lifted sections of the paywall to provide more in-depth free consumer advice on the topic.

List the results (30% of vote)

The response was amazing. Each week more listeners tuned into the feature shows to hear the free advice. On LBC, impacts for the week 4 feature were up by 45,000 versus week 1, and on TalkRadio Mike Graham’s show had 65% more listeners on week 4 versus the week prior to the campaign. People understood that Which? was there to help them. We saw a 49% increase in awareness of Which’s free consumer rights advice (54% Control vs. 80% Exposed), a 28% increase in awareness of Which? as an organisation that works to make things better for consumers (21% Control vs. 27% Exposed) and a 238% increase in website visits (15% Control vs. 50% Exposed have visited Which.co.uk in the last month). Most importantly, millions of British consumers received free, trustworthy advice in a time of crisis.