The Churchill Lollipopper campaign


Key Points

  • Churchill wanted to drive spontaneous consideration and positive buzz
  • They conducted a campaign to help recruit and fund Lollipoppers for schools
  • As a result, they achieved a 7% improvement in gross CPAs

The Challenge

Churchill offer a range of insurance products that can be bought either direct via phone or web or via aggregators. In 2016, their main priority was to improve spontaneous consideration for Churchill. This is a notoriously difficult metric to shift and it moves slowly so they also identified some interim drivers of this measure. These included increasing agreement with the brand statement “understand what matters to me” and an uplift in positive buzz. Churchill tasked their media agency, Mediacom, to deliver a brand activation that proved to consumers that Churchill really does understand what matters most to them.

Four key KPIs were identified to focus on:

  1. Demonstrate active consumer engagement
  2. Increase agreement with the statement ‘understands what matters to me’
  3. Build positive buzz
  4. Drive customer growth

The Solution

Mediacom conducted some in depth analysis to discover what matters most to Churchill’s target audience. The research showed that the one unifying area that they all really cared about was their families and that having/raising children was the biggest priority in their life. So the question to be answered next was how could Churchill help these children and keep them safe?

In 2015, of the 4.1 million children who walked to school, 29 children were killed walking on the roads and 1,350 were seriously injured. At the same time, the number of Lollipoppers has plummeted over the years due to law changes and budget cuts. So the idea was born to help schools to fund more Lollipoppers and so keep children safe when walking to and from school.

Churchill set up a £250,000 fund to help schools recruit 50 new Lollipoppers and needed a campaign that would raise awareness by showing the great work Lollipoppers do, as well as rallying people to nominate a school for a Churchill Lollipopper. Mediacom knew that television was the perfect platform with which to launch the campaign, with its ability to build scale quickly, to establish fame and drive social conversations.

They also knew that humour was important. It is a key emotional trigger for the core audience and if done correctly, can be a short cut to fame as well as a natural platform for amplification across communications. As a result, Churchill’s advertising agency WCRS created a humorous TV ad starring Robert Webb of Peep Show fame. He also featured in other communications and became the face of the campaign.

The Plan

Mediacom knew that they needed to make every penny count and they wanted the TV activity to punch above its weight, so they negotiated an exclusive deal with Channel 4. Channel 4 felt like the right partner due to its heritage of cultural ground-breaking programme formats, in particular comedy.

They conducted some detailed BARB analysis as well as qualitative research to enhance targeting, optimise coverage and drive standout. The primary target audience was parents of school age children but there was also a secondary target audience of grandparents – as potential prospects and also as intergenerational influencers.

They launched the campaign on 12th April to coincide with children returning to school following the Easter holidays. The launch spot went out in ‘One Born Every Minute’ which converted brilliantly for parents, provided scale and also the perfect environment. They wanted to achieve maximum reach in a short period of time and so they selected the most highly viewed programmes at the time such as Gogglebox, First Dates, The Island with Bear Grylls and The Supervet.

To ensure maximum stand out and engagement, they used 91% centre breaks, 59% first in breaks and 69% late peak – all significantly ahead of natural delivery. In addition, they made adjustments to the normal Churchill spot laydown. For example, daytime was upweighted and post peak (after11pm) removed in order to reach parents and grandparents more efficiently.

Alongside the TV, in order to reach out into regional and local communities, they partnered with Bauer and their Big City Network of radio stations to mobilise listeners and get them involved with the campaign. They also used social media and websites such as Mumsnet and Gransnet to spread the word and start conversations. They worked with PTA UK to access their membership of 14,000 schools around the UK. They set up an advice bank on their website and sent information to schools so that they could nominate themselves for funding.


  • Agreement with the statement “Churchill understands what matters to me’ increased by 12%
  • 19% uplift in YouGov Buzz tracking and a 24% uplift in Buzz score for the 35+ audience
  • Positive sentiment on social media grew from 5% to 37% across the campaign period
  • Sales were up 2% versus forecast
  • Gross CPAs improved by 7% vs. forecast
  • 53,000 nominations for 6,500 schools
  • 111,000 visits to the nomination website
  • On 29th November, a National Lollipopper Day was established to recognise and celebrate all Lollipoppers throughout the country
  • The campaign was shortlisted in the ‘Best Use of TV And…’ category at the TV Planning Awards

In a category like insurance, it’s hard to make people listen. There’s a perception insurance brands are dull and functional, but that’s not who Churchill are. Mediacom helped us to create a campaign that broke through the barriers to reach people with something they care about. The TV partnership with Channel 4 launched a cause that the whole nation got behind and exceeded every target we had set. It’s something we couldn’t have done without the right partners. Lollipoppers is the new standard we will judge all future campaigns against

Lucy Brooksbank, Head of Marketing Churchill and Privilege


Sector: Financial

Brand: Churchill

Campaign objectives: To improve spontaneous consideration

Target Audience: ABC1 Adults 35+

Budget: approx. £160,000 for TV only (Source: Nielsen)

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 12th to 29th April 2016 on Channel 4, More 4, Film 4 and 4 Seven

TV Usage: 40 second spots

Creative Agency: WCRS

Media Agency: Mediacom


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