Saturday, 12 July 2008

Creature discomforts

I saw the new set of Ads by Leonard Cheshire...

Done by Aardman the ads have kept all of the humour of the original Creature comforts while very clearly describing the issue.

I am really impressed by Leonard Cheshire for going ahead with this ad campaign. I would be surprised if there wasn't a lot of fear of and resistance to this ad campaign in the organisation because people thought that the characters and the name will be seen as insulting and politically incorrect by disabled people.

And have you seen what they did to their logo - very clever branding I think. Again, some organisations would never allow that, fearing that it confuses the brand. While I think that it refreshes it - I never took notice of this organisation/brand before...

But the website shows that people got the message and love the characters - even the people who did the voices ('Making the Ads' section on the website). Since the launch of the new stage of the campaign on 3rd July (I think TV ads only went out in the past few days) they had 15 comments about the campaign. The forum had few discussions since November. The Creature dicomforts Facebook group attracted 338 members, while Leonard Cheshire has only 23 friends (although this might be because the organisation is represented as an individual profile rather than a group or a fan of page)

By using Aardman characters people are drawn into the issue that is not necessarily at the forefront of their minds. And once you are drawn in, the story is told in a simple way, by disabled people themselves. Not by policy wonks ;)
And it seems that there are badges and some other bits or merchandise featuring these characters which are I am sure very popular.

Unfortunately, the Get involved section of the website doesn't ask people to take a political action - the first stage of the campaign asked people to email their MP. However, the actions people can take (send and e-card/spread the word, sign up to e-updates or take the quiz) encourage people to sign up to their e-news. So once the organisation has an action they will have a list of 'warm' people to email and ask to take the action.