Cultivating consumers and communities
Co-op released a number of new adverts over the Easter bank holiday weekend, which are feel-good vibe inducing due to their message, creation and execution. Co-op has created a series of adverts of varying lengths for different media outlets, directed by This is England BAFTA winner Shane Meadows.
Shane Meadows was a fantastic choice for the project due to his documentary style of film; the cinematic beauty he captures is in the everyday. It is surprising to find out that Meadows would be involved in something so commercial. According to interviews, it is the business ethos of Co-op and ideology of people working together to better each others lives that sold Meadows on the project.
The main advert to air on television is 60 seconds long with the tagline of ‘Great things happen when we work together’, with a spoken word soundtrack by George the Poet. Within the 60 seconds we are shown children, adults and the elderly from all backgrounds participating in a variety of activities, their faces display varying levels of happiness or determination. The words spoken by George the Poet creates an emotive narrative around the idea that unity is the result of community. It is sort of like the opening sequence from Love Actually, but with genuine heart and soul, and without the aural smugness of Hugh Grant.
There is also the full four minute advert that is both cinematic and everyday in equal parts. Next to Me by Sleeping at Last provides a beautiful backdrop to this genuinely touching feature advert. The advert opens with a number of empty community spaces such as a classroom, working men’s club and allotment, then throughout the film these spaces fill with people. It shows a really diverse mix of demographics and activities. The activities featured are all organisations and community events that the Co-op supports, which is over 1,000, including: an art class for adults with learning disabilities, boxing classes for young people, knitting groups for the elderly and wheelchair basketball. The film is then cut with several black and white portrait shots before resuming to it’s previous style. Meadows has done what he is known for — making people feel something that could otherwise just feel a little staged or mundane.
The four minute advert is to be played in cinemas, the first showing was before a screening of Trainspotting 2 at the weekend. There is also a series of smaller 30 second films, 64 in total, each focusing on an individual cause supported by Co-op. The cause specific adverts will be targeted so that, for instance, a cinema in Hull will only see causes relevant to the North East. The hope is that audiences will engage on a deeper level when they are shown causes geographically relevant to them. This clever strategy shows how Co-op have created a well executed campaign that can touch audiences on a deeper level through a sense of locality.
A favourite shot has to be a lady dancing by herself on a table in a working men’s club with the neon light flickering behind her. For me, this shot sums up the approach of this advert; it’s everyday moments of life supported by others that give you joy. The Co-op have aligned themselves with this feel-good mindset, that both as your local shop they support you, but more importantly by being a co-operative they are firmly involved in your local community. In a time of faceless Amazon orders, tax dodging companies and local council cuts, Co-op are showing the alternative, a company that wants to be involved in supporting the local communities it serves.
Feel-good brands understand their identity and core values implicitly and everything feeds from that. Feel-good brands connect with people in a way that other brands struggle to do, because feel-good brands create authentic campaigns that connect on an emotional level.
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