The Co-operative Group ’s funeral services brand Funeralcare has appointed Farm to handle strategy and Oliis to handle creative advertising for what it claims is the first national integrated marketing campaign from a funeral services supplier.
The two agencies have worked together to devise a campaign that makes it clear that although Co-operative Group offers the reassurance of a national organisation, it is staffed by local people prepared to exercise special care in arranging funerals.
Each of the executions features a true story of how staff helped to make a funeral relevant to the deceased and their family by arranging a special route to the church, choosing their favourite music or flowers, or by organising a horse-drawn hearse or a cavalcade of motorbikes. The ads carry the line “Local people giving extraordinary care”.
The advertising will be accompanied by a door-drop campaign targeting people planning a funeral, and fulfilment packs available from branches. The campaign is being tested using print and radio advertising in Nottingham and Kent, areas chosen because of a high concentration of Co-operative Group’s Funeralcare branches which have been given a revamp with modern interiors and exteriors. If the campaign is a success it will be rolled out nationally and possibly include TV advertising.
The campaign is the result of extensive research showing that people are often “secretly disappointed” by funerals and feel they can be improved by making the occasion more personal.
The Co-operative Group operates more than 500 branches, which are all being rebranded as Funeralcare. It is estimated that there are about 4,000 funeral directors in the UK, the majority of which rely on classified advertising to promote their services.