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2021 Gold Best UX

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Agency: M&C Saatchi

Client: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Campaign Name: War Graves Week

Campaign Overview

Creating awareness of the first-ever War Graves Week would encourage new, younger audiences to participate at local and online events.

Strategy

The pandemic meant organisations such as Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) struggled to get messages across to their audiences, as gatherings and memorials were limited or even cancelled.

So it decided to bring history home by allowing individuals to commemorate War Graves Week from the safety of their street using a unique online tool.

While relevancy was key for the campaign to succeed, it was also necessary to ensure people in the UK found connections with their past. What’s more personal than the house you occupy, the street you live on?

Meanwhile, sharing reasons to look beyond the connections individuals share at a local level could bring millions of people together, but also bring history to the future.

This helped unlock relevancy, while also allowing the organisation to understand in greater detail why it’s important to remember and commemorate those who lost their lives during the World Wars.

Creativity

The initiative used Google Street View to show where men and women commemorated by CWGC lived.

Working with data from 1.7m casualties, the organisation placed the names of the men and women who died in the houses where they used to live with a click-through to read more about their lives.

Using a simple postcode search to find who lived on their street, CWGC notified and re-targeted those nearby to War Graves Week events to encourage them to come along, learn more and look for those who passed away, but were once vital members of their community.

It also sent 'letters home' to the occupants of 24 streets across the UK, written by the former occupants who passed away in the war.

Simply, and beautifully written, they told their stories of life overseas during the war, and encouraged people to learn more about their lives through the work of the CWGC.

The activity was supported by a geo-targeted paid social campaign that helped drive traffic to the CWGC website, encouraging people to discover 'who lived on your street?'.
During the week itself, people were encouraged to join digital events on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Results

The campaign reached 2.7 million people, maximising engagement and local relevance.

This included offering local residents the opportunity to print and share memorial plaques of those who lived on their street, as well as sharing handwritten postcards to bring the past back home.

It led to a 34% increase in website traffic and 139,000 website users - 75% of which were new - to the CWG site, where audiences could both learn and commemorate War Graves Week while delving in further to a past that now had a modern, relevant connection to them.

267 pieces of media coverage explored the campaign, which achieved around 3,110 tribute downloads.

The Team

M&C Saatchi - Matt Lee, Executive Creative Director - Will Bate, Creative - Curtis Brittles, Creative - Shaska Bain, Strategy - Jamie Roston, Account Handling - Caroline Stuart-Nicholls, Producer - Niall Wilson, M&KE - Luke Kowalski, M&KE - Tom Zaborowski, M&KE - Elizabeth Westwood, Media Buying