The Co-operative Group is planning to emphasise ethical credentials with a £10m brand campaign featuring the iconic Bob Dylan protest song, Blowin’ in the Wind.
It is the first time the track has been licensed in the UK and one of the few times Dylan has allowed his music to be used in advertising anywhere in the world.
The campaign, created by McCann Erickson, breaks next month and will focus on its social responsibility credentials and initiatives. It includes a two-and-a-half minute spot, one of the longest ever to be run on UK terrestrial TV.
The ad will not reference any of the group’s businesses, which include financial services, retail, funeral services, pharmacies and travel. In≠stead, it will focus on Co-operative initiatives such as its commitment to reducing climate change, its Fair Trade projects across the world and its aim to reduce poverty in the UK and abroad.
The campaign is the culmination of a two-year re≠branding exercise spanning its entire operation and estate of 4,200 outlets. It aims to highlight the differences between The Co-operative and other UK brands and will introduce the strapline “Good for everyone”.
Mike Smith, UK managing director of Columbia Records says: “It is rare for Bob Dylan to license his recordings to TV ads. The decision to do so with the Co-operative and Blowin’ in the Wind shows a willingness to embrace fresh ways of reaching a new audience through an ethical and fair trade organisation.”
Co-operative Group marketing director Patrick Allen says: “We have invested heavily in the rebranding exercise and through Dylan’s iconic track we can tell everyone about the new-look Co-operative.”
He says that the group will spend an extra £60m on advertising through the year – its highest spend to date.