Poppy Appeal choses ‘wildcard’ agency to modernise its message

Scotland’s most effective design agency has been tasked with helping to modernise the way in which the poppy, symbol of remembrance for almost a century, is viewed by the public.
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July 25, 2011 - PRLog -- Scotland’s most effective design agency has been tasked with helping to modernise the way in which the poppy, symbol of remembrance for almost a century, is viewed by the public.

Poppyscotland has commissioned Good Creative to help change perceptions of the charity which exists to support ex-Servicemen, women and their families.

Poppyscotland, formerly the Earl Haig Fund Scotland, is keen to dispel perceptions that the poppy is associated principally with the two World Wars and that fund-raising is a once-a-year activity.

A large proportion of its work is now done to support veterans of recent and on-going conflicts, including those in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Poppyscotland invited a number of leading agencies listed on the Recommended Agency Register, to bid for the contract to design a contemporary advertising campaign.

It had intended to appoint a direct marketing agency but selected Good, recommended as a ‘wildcard’ entry as the preferred bidder, because of its original thinking and enthusiastic approach.

“We were extremely impressed with Good. They quickly demonstrated that they had a sound understanding of where our organisation currently sits and they presented the outline of an exciting theme for the 2011 Scottish Poppy Appeal,” said Fraser Bedwell, a spokesman for the charity

“The new theme has the potential to be developed across a number of platforms and would fit perfectly with our year-round fundraising and charitable objectives.”

Good, ranked by the Design Business Association as the UK’s third most effective design agencies, said it was honoured to be asked to work on one of the world’s most distinctive brands.

“Wherever you go, people recognise the poppy and, in that sense, it is a remarkably effective symbol,” said Chris Lumsden, co-director of the Glasgow-based agency.

“Our task is not to challenge or change that but to make people think a bit more about what the poppy stands for in the modern world.”

The poppy was introduced in 1921 to commemorate those who died in the First World War. It inspired the poem In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian military doctor. Poppies bloomed in the Flanders battlefields, brilliant red being adopted as an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the War.

Poppyscotland began a process of modernisation in 2006 when it changed its name from The Earl Haig Fund Scotland, named after Field Marshal Douglas Haig, who commanded the British Expeditionary Force from 1915 until the end of the First World War.

“One of the problems we had, was that the First World War generation has died off completely and the Second World War generation is becoming smaller with every passing year,” said Bedwell.

“We did some market research last year and the key findings were that, while the changes have been well received, we have a bit to go to educate the public about where the money goes and why the Appeal is as relevant and important today as at any time in the past 90 years.”

“The Poppy is synonymous with Remembrance Day and, for that reason, November will always remain a focal point for our fund raising activity but we want to make the appeal relevant all year round. We have made considerable progress by introducing a programme of fund-raising outside of that period.

“We will be using a range of different media to raise our profile all year round including advertising, PR and social media. We have 6000 followers on Facebook as well as a Twitter feed and Flickr and YouTube sites.

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Good’s insight over the past three years has resulted in it being in the top three Most Effective Design Agencies in the UK as listed by the Design Business Association.

The Glasgow-based consultancy won Gold awards in the internal communications category, for its work on a Scottish Power safety campaign, and in the packaging category after creating a new brand identity for Argyll-based Fyne Ales.

Good was also recognised in the Interactive and Digital Media category for devising a hugely successful social media marketing campaign for Buchanan Galleries, a shopping complex in the centre of Glasgow. The successes have raised it from 9th to 3rd position in the DBA’s design effectiveness league table.

Good’s founding partner, Keith Forbes, is a former creative business managing director of the year, a board member of the Design Business Association and has been quoted on lists of the most influential members of the media and marketing industries in Scotland.
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