In Loving Memory

Co-op Funeralcare | In Loving Memory

Our response to COVID-19 has been a desire to show how the Co-op can support people with their grief. At a time when they were not able to provide their loved ones with a funeral they would want due to lockdown measures put in place. Our approach put people first as the absolute priority with the hope of providing guidance to those in the dark. Our “In Loving Memory” tributes provided people with a little bit of happiness at such a dark time.

A national uncertainty

“And therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives...”
Boris Johnson BBC News, 23rd March 2020

These words changed our lives as we knew it and we had lots of questions - When will I be able to see my family? Will I still have a job? How will my children go to school? And for those going through the worst effect of COVID-19, am I able to hold a funeral for my loved one that have sadly passed away?

The UK Government asked COFE churches and Funeralcare homes to close from the 23rd March. This gave grieving families limited opportunities to celebrate and commemorate the lives of loved ones.

To add to the uncertainty, Funeralcare plans are often overlooked with 39% of the UK claiming they haven’t made plans or even thought about their funeral. But with the mortality rate increasing at an alarming rate, this was more important than ever.

“In Loving memory”

As the market leader, we felt a duty of care to provide a solution to the British people. We needed to adapt our business, pivot our marketing strategy and needed do it fast.

The “In Loving Memory” campaign was designed to provide much-needed support, clarity and guidance for local communities. Presenting a beautiful and unique way to say goodbye to loved ones lost, despite the challenges and restrictions currently in place.

A chance to say goodbye

We partnered with Reach’s network and ran the campaign across 125 of their national, regional and local press titles. Although this was a national pandemic, each region had different legislations and each UK community had been affected in their own unique way. Reach gave us the ability to spread our message across the nation whist being able to adapt the creative accordingly.

To launch the partnership, we ran a DPS that offered clarity by outlining the government guidelines. As the pandemic progressed and the UK government adapted their legislations, we provided ongoing support with a weekly Q&A style feature. This was no mean feat as careful considerations was needed to make sure we were communicating in a sensitive manner.

To help families give their loved ones the send-off they deserved, we ran a fortnightly DPS tribute feature across the local news titles. Reach’s journalists worked closely with family members to create a tailored and detailed story of their loved one that was shared within in their local community - evolving the standard obituary to something with more meaning and purpose.

During this campaign period we have seen Co-op Market share on funerals increase at a rate of 3%, with market share also now up YoY thanks to this campaign period.

Nick Mortimer

"The partnership with Reach gave us an opportunity to make people across the country aware of the work we’re doing and to offer helpful guidance on how to navigate the complexities of Funeralcare during these uncertain times. It also provides our clients with a medium to say their best goodbye possible through highly personalised obituaries in their local newspaper. We feel proud and honoured to have been able to support families and communities through this incredibly sad and difficult time.” 

Nick Mortimer Head of Marketing & Digital, Co-op Funeralcare.
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