Change4Life brand set to be ‘re-energised’

The Change4Life anti-obesity marketing initiative is set to be refreshed in an attempt to extend the influence of the brand beyond families to adults and ethnic groups.

The Government is to expand the breadth covered by its Change4Life initiative.

Public Health England (PHE), the executive body of the Department of Health now responsible for managing the initiative’s £55m marketing budget, has issued tenders for a Change4Life creative partner and a partnership agency.

The organisation says the move aims to “re-energise” the brand by developing the “big creative ideas” needed to overcome public health issues currently concerning the nation, such as mental well being and peoples’ mindsets. It is hoped the push will lead to more advertising campaigns from the health initiative, which is now about 70 per cent funded by partners such as Mars and PepsiCo, as it looks to broaden its reach.

Sheila Mitchell, marketing director at PHE, told Marketing Week upcoming campaigns will keep the “heartland of families” at its core, but will also focus more on targeting pregnant mums through Change4Life’s sister brand Start4Life. Campaigns centred on building awareness around the health issues affecting ethnic groups across the UK will also be launched in the coming months, she added.

Mitchell says: “We’re not moving wholly away from the existing creative vehicle, however it’s been three years since we made any major changes to it. We’re going to be taking the brand into new subject areas and feel we  need to apply new energy and new creativity to the brand in order for it to work.”

As part of the development process, PHE is gleaning insights from anti-obesity projects in other countries and looking at what aspects could be relevant for future campaigns.

PHE is also planning to launch more mobile apps and online tools for people as part of a wider shift towards having an “always-on” approach to digital marketing. It will share more data around sales and consumption patterns with its partners to create more targeted incentives for people to trial healthy behaviours.

The activity will also be supported by the Government’s Aspire capability drive, which sees Whitehall marcomms staff develop low-cost digital marketing campaigns to boost efficiencies.  

The revamp comes at a time when the Government’s Responsibility Deal with the food and drink industry is coming under fire from some health campaign groups, who claim brands are not doing enough to curb obesity levels. Despite the disquiet, Mitchell claims the Change4Life brand is “hitting home” with people across the UK.

Mitchell adds: “The [Change4Life] brand still has high perception levels across the country. It has 86 per cent awareness among adults and 90 per cent among mums.

“One of our summer targets is getting another couple of hundred thousand sign-ups to our database so that we can develop an ongoing relationship with people around their physical and mental well being. Its being backed by our commercial partners as well as we try to drive that engagement from a retail perspective.”



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