Cannes Lions

Little Acts of Co-operation

CO-OP FUNERALCARE, Manchester / CO-OP / 2020

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The Co-op has always served communities in the UK throughout its 176-year history. But in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, communities across the UK needed co-operation more than ever.

Our ambition was to get people to shop with us by bringing to life what makes Co-op unique– when you spend with Co-op, it does good in your local community.

With many competitors’ responses to the crisis also focusing on this space, we needed to go further. Not just telling people about the good we were doing, but co-operating with communities, empowering them to make a difference. So, as the pandemic strengthened community bonds, Co-op cancelled its Easter campaign to turn this community spirit into community action.


By living their values, Co-op does business differently. Our repose to COVID-19 was led by a desire to showcase this.

Co-op’s difference has always driven their position in market – when you spend with Co-op it does good in your local community and beyond. Where other grocers acted alone, telling people about the good they were doing, we built our strategy around co-operating with communities, empowering them to make a difference.

We created the largest volunteer programme where people could support local charities and community groups including foodbanks. We built an approach to INSPIRE and CELEBRATE these acts of co-operation and to RESPOND in moments of need. From people in communities up and down the UK, to footballer Marcus Rashford, to Co-op’s colleagues and members. By encouraging communities to come together we could show that little acts of co-operation add up to make a big difference to those in need.


INPSIRE. We used TV to ask the nation to get involved and support Co-op‘s principal charity: FareShare, encouraging people to go to a dedicated website to donate and volunteer. We used social media to generate conversation and geo-targeting OOH near Co-op stores to drive people into store to donate.

CELEBRATE. We celebrated acts of co-operation happening around the country, showcasing hyperlocal stories on a national stage, rewarding #local heroes, distributing prizes through partnerships with Global and Mail Metro Media. And we worked with the National Portrait Gallery and Kensington Palace we created a series of murals paying homage to people on the frontline of the pandemic

RESPOND. Upon hearing about the sharp rise in abuse received by customer facing staff, we joined forces with Channel 4, Nationwide and Network Rail to tell staff stories with a thought-provoking Channel 4 ad-break takeover, #TogetherAgainstHate.


When your values authentically lead you, your business also grows.

We inspired the UK to donate over 5 million meals for those most in need. We celebrated over 1000 local heroes, and we responded to the challenge’s communities were facing through three different partnerships.

Our approach has acted as a catalyst for change on a greater level, providing a platform for Marcus Rashford to amplify his incredible initiative challenging the UK government to provide food vouchers for those most in need.

We also saw Co-op’s market share grew by 1.4% to a record 7.4% throughout the campaign period, primarily due to incredible acts of co-operation and dedication from across the Co-op business. Particularly key worker colleagues based in stores.

But media played its part. With the COVID-effect accounted for, we saw our best ever media ROI performance across this campaign and we achieved this alongside positive growth in brand metrics.

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