This was an outstanding campaign that drew on detailed research to ensure it was carefully targeted. Kindred undertook extensive research into their target market and ensured that their creativity matched the insight step by step. Their clear objectives meant that the campaign’s measurement and evaluation was thorough and linked right back to changing the behaviour of the consumers identified by their research. The campaign was creative, witty and clear. It not only achieved what it set out to deliver for the FCA but did so in a highly engaging and creative way.

Mark of Excellence:

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A well-researched campaign where the team recognised the need to undertake primary research of their target audience and then used that to fully shape their campaign. On a very small budget, the creativity of the campaign particularly impressed the judges, as did the subsequent longevity of the assets the team had created. The evaluation was strong, linking back to their clear and well-researched objectives. This is a campaign to be very proud of.


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Winner entry:

Brief, objectives and budget:

PPI (payment protection insurance) mis-selling has been called the UK’s biggest financial scandal. In 2017, following consultation, the FCA (the public body regulating the sector) made the unprecedented move to end it by imposing a complaints deadline. After 28/08/19, consumers wouldn’t be able to get PPI money back.

Our objectives were to:

  • Raise awareness of the deadline and, crucially, when exactly it was
  • Drive consumers to the FCA’s website and helpline
  • Convert awareness into action – prompting people to check and decide whether to complain.

The idea, research and planning:

Challenges included that our audience were ‘switched-off’ to PPI and that, as a regulator, FCA’s PR couldn’t highlight the most compelling incentive for complaining: money consumers could get back. Journalist fatigue was a big issue, e.g. “We can’t possibly excuse doing ANY more coverage on PPI” (The Times) and “Is this STILL going on?” (The Sun).

Tracking research identified:

  • An audience ‘sweet spot’ of ~13million ‘Intenders’ – consumers intending to decide about PPI and/or wanting to ‘know more’
  • Intenders were most likely to act if they saw PR in addition to ‘Arnie ad’ creative
  • Knowledge of a deadline, but not the day, month, or even year, it fell on.

‘Intenders’ were a cross-section of society, skewed towards ABC1. Additional research showed they:

  • Didn’t think they had what they needed to complain
  • Would be motivated by social norming – seeing ‘deciding on PPI’ as a mass consumer action that experts/influencers advocated.

Our resulting idea – ‘The Final Countdown’ – was designed to generate summer-long coverage focused on four relatable, increasingly urgent hooks: two months to go, one month to go, one week to go and one day to go. To social norm, we demonstrated largescale consumer action by releasing updated data each time – e.g. number of new complaints and volumes of people seeking help.

Strategy, creativity and innovation:

The strategy underpinning this idea was to:

  1. Support the ‘Intender’ audience to turn intention into reality, maximising PR budget ROI
  2. Align ads and PR, maximising the chance of consumers seeing both by: overlaying earned media targeting with paid media plans; and weaving the ad creative into all PR
  3. Reframe the deadline’s imminence in a relatable way (‘one month to go’, ‘one week to go’)
  4. Social norm – showing increasing numbers of people submitting PPI claims
  5. Show Intenders what they need to complain.

Each ‘Countdown’ hook took FCA’s PR in a bold new direction, employing a mix of new official data, surprising consumer research and influencers. This re-ignited journalist and consumer interest and broadened the campaign’s appeal, securing coverage in titles from Today to LadBible.

To show endorsement from people Intenders respect, we created the ‘Pressure’s on’ Panel of nine Intender-trusted influencers who encouraged action. These included finance expert, Sarah Pennells, Mr Motivator, blogger, ‘Skint Dad’, and TV personality, Alison Hammond.

Delivery/implementation of tactics:

  • Arnie’s back’

Launching PR the day the ads went live, we maximised audience opportunities to see both. We announced the Panel, FCA PPI data and offered interviews with ‘animatronic Arnie’.

We tailored packages for a broad range of media – including unreleased FCA data for personal finance journalists and unseen ad footage for broadcast.

  • ‘Memory jog’

‘One month to go’ tackled Intenders’ top barrier – “I don’t have what I need to complain”, and jogged their memories back to big life events in the 90s and 00s (when PPI was mis-sold) that they might have financed with credit.

Memory Champion, Dominic O’Brien, advised Intenders on how to remember what they needed. Mr Motivator recalled credit products whilst jogging – a literal memory jog. Consumer research showed the scale of how many credit products people had at the time.

  • ‘Get Arnergised!’

At ‘one week to go’ we energised Intenders with new survey data showing it’s normal to be ‘last-minute’. This reassured Intenders there was still time and convinced the media PPI was still relevant. Stats on how much money people lose by missing deadlines helped us discuss money, without talking directly about PPI gains.

Broadcast coverage was showing direct spikes in action so we upweighted focus on broadcast to optimise the campaign.

  • ‘Do it now (or never)!’

At ‘one day to go’ we unleashed Alison Hammond, lining up back-to-back interviews where she championed ‘last-minuters’ to ‘Do it now!’, as per the Arnie ad. This secured titles and sections where PPI hadn’t gone before, like OK!, The Mirror’s ‘3am’ pages and the Metro and Express’ showbiz sections.

Measurement, evaluation and impact:

Objective 1: Deadline awareness*

  • 1,005 pieces of coverage – equivalent to 13 pieces every day of the campaign
  • 99% contained deadline framing (e.g. relatable terms like ‘one week to go’)
  • Reach of 546m
  • 90% of Intenders reached
  • Highly efficient spend – just 58p per 1,000
  • ‘Arnie’ ads featured in 56% of pieces
  • 68% of those pieces carried ad creative (essentially 379 pieces of free advertising).


Objective 2: FCA support

Coverage contributed to:

  • Clear spikes in consumers seeking support from FCA during each PR activation. E.g. a spike of 69,838 page views (17% of the entire day’s traffic) during BBC Breakfast coverage at ‘one month to go’ and 50,018 views during an ITV News piece (15% of the day’s traffic)
  • 631% increase in users accessing FCA’s webpages (2.2m between launch and deadline)
  • 36% of all web traffic over the two years leading up to the deadline were while the campaign was live, and 60% of total helpline calls
  • 2,000% year-on-year increase in searches for FCA PPI.

As the campaign went on, call centre staff numbers were upped when broadcast coverage was due to air to accommodate demand.

Objective 3: Turning awareness into action

Campaign complaint volume data is due in March. Current indications are that millions acted – banks experienced unprecedented demand, with some increasing redress provisions and/or unable to meet normal complaint handling times. Post-campaign tracking shows Intender action – the majority who intending to act did so by the deadline and Intenders were more likely to say they had acted.