Channel 4

Co-op's Festive Choir

Theme tunes are memorable, and we tapped into this to deliver an epically creative ad for Co-op during the busiest time of theyear for supermarket advertisers.

The Big Idea

Co-op had the classic business challenge of wanting to stand out from the plethora of supermarkets advertising at Christmas, but with a modest budget. How could we achieve that? By making it memorable, of course. They needed something especially unique and creative to capture the nation’s imagination.

We came up with a campaign that took the essence of Co-op and ‘togetherness’ by creating a series of ads that featured a specially formed ‘Co-op choir’, propelling them into the heart of Channel 4’s Christmas. The choir took on the challenge of singing, in acapella style, some of Channel 4’s most iconic programme scores, captured in a heart-warming creative. What made this campaign stand out was that for the first time, we had to work with both major music publishers and our programme makers also to create a wonderfully festive Christmas partnership with the Co-op!

Co-op put ‘togetherness’ at the heart of their Christmas campaign, which showcased their continuing focus on local communities. They did this by bringing together a wide variety of diverse musical groups together to sing the Blur classic ‘Tender’ for their Christmas TVC.

The challenge was to cut through in at hugely competitive time of the year, with budgets dwarfed by their main supermarket competitors. A key component of this cut through was a partnership with Channel 4 that wonderfully amplified the concept of “Christmas is coming together” as the Co-op copy would have already launched, and our role was to re-invigorate the campaign.

Working with Hearts & Science & Drum, we developed a brilliantly creative idea through our creative arm, PL4Y, that had never been attempted before - weaving Co-op into the fabric of our schedule by having a selection of singers from the ‘Co-op choirs’ come together and sing the introductions to some of our most iconic programmes in the ad break of the shows, in their own unique style.

Christmas is about togetherness at Co-op and we were able to capture some amazingly warm and natural performances from the community groups in our TV commercial. This came across in these innovative films with Channel 4 and it was really exciting to see the ‘feel good’ factor they created. - Amanda Jennings, marketing communications director at Co-op

Making it Happen

We began by identifying 4 key programmes across the Christmas period (Crystal Maze, Gogglebox, Countdown and The Snowman) that not only resonated with the Co-op and Channel 4 audiences, but held prominent positions in our schedule, giving the campaign maximum scale and reach.

Working to a tight production timeline and a challenging multi -layered approval process, we leveraged our great relationships with our programme makers to get sign off on each execution, enabling us then to approach the major music publishers for the first time to secure licences at an affordable rate.

Stand-out characters from different groups in the main campaign were chosen and then formed into a special Channel 4 Christmas choir, who quickly got to work rehearsing the theme songs in preparation for filming the bespoke introductions.

Channel 4 had to ensure the airtime was correctly placed, the Co-op Christmas TVC first in break and the 20 second Partnership spots last in the break, just before the shows were due to start. We ensured that any promos were moved so that the partnership spots sat directly next to the start of the programme.

In a wonderful build to the partnership, our very own continuity team got into the spirit of ‘togetherness’ , by adding their own musical renditions whilst introducing the shows, straight after the Co-op choir, leading to a seamless viewer experience.

Co-op saw incredible results at Christmas, achieving +6.2% like-for-like sales YOY
Of 294 respondents, 50% agreed the partnership stood out from other Christmas adverts

The Results

The uniqueness of the idea made Co-op truly shine amongst competitors.

The partnership (which brought together an incredible 13 different stakeholders) resulted in a ‘first of its kind’ Christmas partnership that embodied the Co-op’messaging of ‘Christmas is coming together’ which was woven into the heart of the Channel 4 Christmas schedule.

Co-op saw incredible results at Christmas, achieving +6.2% like-for-like sales YOY. This outperformed the market; despite a significantly lower media spend than all competitors.

Further research found:

• 50% of 294 respondents agreed the partnership stood out from other Christmas adverts

• This increased to 64% amongst Crystal Maze viewers

• 48% of viewers felt more positively towards the Co-op brand

• All metrics for intention to shop at Co-op increased

Most importantly, the key message respondents took from the partnership was that ‘Co-op’ is encouraging ‘Christmas is a time for sharing and family’.