Co-op normalises conversations about funerals using a C4 branded show

Co-op normalises conversations about funerals using a C4 branded show
The Media Plan

Co-op Funeralcare teamed up with Channel 4 to launch a social-first branded entertainment series to shift the dialogue surrounding funerals.

Celebrity Send-Off, a three-part series, took a different celebrity duo each episode, with one going through the process of planning the other’s funeral.

The first 10-minute episode featured Happy Mondays and Celebrity Gogglebox stars Shaun Ryder and Bez. It launched on 3 July on YouTube and on social platforms on 10 July.

Gogglebox’s Marcus Luther and his wife Mica Ven, and former Olympian Kriss Akabusi and his daughter Shakira Akabusi, feature in the other episodes. They will be released this month.

The episodes will also be available on Channel 4 Streaming, alongside content in cutdowns on social media, a TV commercial and ad pause format.

Planning was by Carat UK and built on Co-op Funeralcare’s latest campaign, “Talking Now Helps Your Loved Ones Later”, and the brand’s podcast series Let’s Start Talking.

Lifting the stigma

The series was based on the insight that 66% of people have thought about their funeral preferences, but only 7% feel comfortable talking about them.

“We know that if people don’t talk about it, it makes it so much harder for their loved ones when the time comes, as they don’t know what they would have wanted,” Tom Goddard, client director at Carat UK, told The Media Leader.

“We want this series to normalise this conversation and show it doesn’t have to be daunting; it can be a lovely and heartwarming. We want to lift the stigma and encourage everyone to have a conversation they should be having.”

Channel 4 was “the perfect partner” for the campaign as it is known for “championing difficult cultural conversations”, emphasised Funmi Adebanjo, senior account manager, entertainment, at Carat parent Dentsu.

‘Bold and brave’

Adebanjo added that the broadcaster’s access to talent also allowed Carat to create something “with a strong narrative and editorial angle”.

This was the element that the team was most proud of. As Claudia Hall, account director, entertainment, at Dentsu added: “It is incredibly bold and brave for any brand, let alone one in such a traditional and risk-averse industry, to a) discuss a taboo topic; and b) to do it both in an entertaining and sensitive way.”

Channel 4 will provide data of users who engage with the content that will allow Co-op Funeralcare to retarget directly. Meanwhile, Carat will carry out a brand-lift study to measure how the campaign has shifted awareness and brand perception.

Lucky Generals created the campaign, with production by Interstellar.

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