Change4Life returns with back to school ads

The Government’s Change4Life initiative is returning to advertising with a back to school campaign designed to help families drop bad habits they may have picked up in the summer holidays.

Change4Life Start Restart

The “Smart Restart” campaign will encourage families to look at the new school year as an opportunity to “push restart” and establish healthier habits, such as walking to school and eating healthier lunches.

Families will be asked to sign up to the campaign online to be supported by a six-week engagement and incentive programme designed to help them stick to their chosen healthy change through to the next half term. Programmes range from incorporating extra 10 minutes into children’s daily routines, swapping screen time for something more active and swapping unhealthy treats for healthier alternatives.

A TV ad, created by long-term Change4Life collaborator Aardman Animations, will broadcast from 16 August and will show a mum “re-shaping” her plasticine children to get them ready for the new term.

The ad will also be supported across radio, online, email, SMS and a dedicated app.

A wide range of brand partners are also supporting the campaign, including retailers Asda and Aldl, which will both highlight healthy food choices in-store with Change4Life branding and communicate Smart Restart through their own communications channels.

Elsewhere, Unilever’s Flora “mum” character will be communicating her “Smart Restart” experience on the brand’s social media pages, while Disney is providing content for the Smart Restart microsite and offering a range of free activities to reward registered families once they have achieved their goals.

Sheila Mitchell, marketing director of Public Health England, the executive body of the Department of Health now responsible for managing Change4Life’s £55m marketing budget, says: “The back to school moment is exciting new territory for Change4Life.The fresh start of the school year is the perfect time for parents to get their children into a healthy routine – which Change4Life is ideally placed to help with.”

Earlier this month Mitchell told Marketing Week the Change4Life initiative is set to be “refreshed” in an attempt to extend the influence of the brand beyond families to adult and ethnic groups. It has issued tenders for a creative partner and partnership agency to develop the “big creative ideas” needed to overcome public health issues currently concerning the nation beyond diet, such as mental well being.

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