This essay describes the most well-known charity organisation Age UK with the soft drinks company “The Innocent” which launched “A Big Knit” campaign in 2013. The “Big Knit” is a joint campaign between Age UK and innocent drinks to help vulnerable older people. The essay will follow the Kotler and Lee Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign plan in order to show how Age UK achieved its objectives by implementing CSR in their business tactics.
- Identify points of inter-section between the business and society
According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), during the winter 2012/2013, Age UK claimed 30,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales, particularly among people aged over 75+. (Rankin, 2013) Since this shameful and preventable situation, the Age UK charity urged the government to lower energy bills so that elderly could keep their homes warm during winter season. The charity also launched a new campaign called “Spread the Warmth” asking people to help an older person to feel well and warm. A 3 minute commercial video shows some old ladies telling their severe and cold winter survival story; the Age UK representatives help such people by bringing wool clothes, helping to do shopping, fitting radiators and heaters and other home improvements. Their main website also provide donations buttons, volunteering opportunities in order to help elderly not to feel lonely. This commercial advertisement encouraged The Innocent Company to launch the “Big Knit” campaign with the aim to help older people during the cold winter months through befriending visits, emergency cold weather support, warm meals and other vital services. It is interesting to note, that Innocent Drinks Company is famous for its 100% pure fruit juices since 1999. This fact probably was the reason to launch a “Big Knit” campaign together with Age UK charity organisation in order to focus on the same message and reach a better result.
The joint project started with older people from Age Concerns around the UK‚ innocent consumers and Sainsbury’s staff knitting tiny woollen hats to place on the top of innocent smoothie bottles. Hats were knitted by knitting groups with the local Age UKs and knitting groups across the United Kingdom. (source:www.ageuk.org.uk) The smoothies with hats are sold nationally and for every one sold innocent donated 25p to Age UK. In 2012, innocent smoothies with hats were sold in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Boots, Tesco, WHSmith and Asda stores. The raised money will go to funding local and national projects to help keep people warm and well in winter.
The Big Knit website also provides a scheme on how to knit a hat and an opportunity to knit a virtual hat online. This campaign allowed people to contribute and be involved in the marketing campaign CSR as well as to create a positive brand image among people of completely different age, job and social class.
- Measure impacts
Measurability links who saw the advertisement and then what specific action occurred in response (e.g. purchase intension, recall and brand awareness) linked back to marketing communication objectives. (Dahlen et al., 2010)
In 2013 Age UK raised over £244,000 by knitting over 1 million hats. (source:www.ageuk.org.uk) By 2014, the total amount of raised money reached £1.75 million in 10 years’ time. Also, the hat gallery of 2013 on social network Flirck shows almost 6 million knitted hats with the help of thousands of people across the UK. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn helped to raise awareness and interest by “Share” and “Follow” buttons. Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube also play an important role in word-of-mouth communication and public relations.
- Rank & prioritise key issues
The key issues for this campaign are:
– High mortality rate amongst old people during the winter season in the UK that was the reason for Innocent Drinks and Age UK to join together.
– Old people are in a desperate need for care and help in order to keep their houses warm.
– Interest people in helping old people by doing donation in such a creative way (knitting hats) and make them trust this joint campaign.
- Establish small number of key initiatives.
The main key of establishing a small number of key initiatives is that it is something everyone can contribute to, that will advance the organisation. The bigknit.co.uk website provide an online tool where visitors can create their own version of the big knitter – the colour of drink, style of hats and other accessorises. By sharing the masterpiece on Facebook or Twitter, the Innocent Drinks will donate 10p to Age UK. Also, there are knitting patterns and how-to sections showing how to knit hats from beginner to expert level. Some video lessons are also shared on Youtube channel in order to raise awareness and interest among people.
- Set targets / KPIs
– to promote awareness and understanding of tough old people lives during severe weather in winter by creating a woolly art installation.
– to engage people to take care through the act of creating and through the social nature of knitting.
– to improve the mortality rate of elderly across the UK during winter seasons.
- Monitor results
Since this campaign started, Innocent has raised more than £1.3 million to help look after older people and four million hats have been knitted. In 2012, the Big Knit raised £115,000 for Age UK.
- Communicate externally
- Engage with key stakeholders
The Innocent Drinks created a dialogue with its customers and communicate with them directly through the donations, knitting hats techniques, competitions’ winners, involved them in social media life by sharing and following buttons. All this helped to have a positive effect on the brand.
If the organisation has a dialogue with their customers, that means they listen to each other. Innocent listens to its customers and gives them opportunity to choose the design of hats with all the needed information and knitting techniques. Age UK . in turn, listen to their elderly people and has a clear mission to make their life easier and warm.
- To be part of corporate identity and be part of the corporate brand
Innocent always has been promoting healthy lifestyle and 100% pure juices to their buyers. The joint campaign with Age UK charity organisation did not change the overall vision and beliefs of the Innocent Drinks. They both made their brands stronger, widen their audience range and became popular in social media.
[Anon]. ([n.d]). Social Media and Charities – The Innocent Big Knit. Available: http://www.bakedmarketing.com/site/social-media-and-charities-the-innocent-big-knit/. Last accessed 24th Apr 2014.
Dahlen,M et al. (2010). Marketing Communications: A brand narrative approach. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 474.
Rankin, J et al.. (2013). Winter deaths rose by almost a third in 2012-13. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/26/winter-deaths-rose-third [Last accessed 23rd Apr 2014.]