Co-op Funeralcare - In Loving Memory

Case study - Objective: Address an issue and build trust


The Co-op brand has always been there to comfort communities in trying times and the pandemic was no different. Last year, Covid-19 led to a horrible increase in mortality rates and the UK was looking for a way to grieve. Co-op Funeralcare wanted to help people in challenging and confusing times and partnered with Reach and its national, regional and local titles to achieve its planning priorities of addressing an issue and building trust.

Boris Johnson’s “Stay at home” message led to the closure of funeral homes and Church of England churches, giving families limited opportunities to celebrate and commemorate the lives of loved ones they had lost. This led to the creation of the ‘In Loving Memory’ campaign. Newspaper features were published throughout the UK, featuring guidance on funerals, a Q&A and an obituary, which gave families the chance to pay tribute and say goodbye in the absence of being able to attend funerals.

Levels of trust increased by 22% and insights show that the campaign portrayed Co-op Funeralcare as ‘caring’, ‘helpful’ and successful in creating an emotional connection with its target audience. The team were inundated with thank you notes from people across the country, thanking them for their touching tributes. Although the aim was to show empathy, the brand’s market share increased by 3% during the campaign period.

This was a worthy winner. It provoked a reaction but also was handled very sensitively. It was brave and it really made use of the medium that it appeared in, bringing together communities and the needs of those communities.

Emma Saksena, media director, Unilever