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Published September 20th 2017

Customer Story: Co-op’s Support of the #ReverseAdvent Campaign

The #ReverseAdvent campaign last holiday season saw Co-op put a call to arms to the public to help those in need. Here's how they used Brandwatch to do it.

Last year, Co-op supported the #ReverseAdvent trend over the Christmas holiday period on social media.

The trend saw the public saving one item – usually an item of food – each day of Advent, and then, on Christmas Eve, they’d donate their hamper of goods to someone or a local cause in need.

As a result: #ReverseAdvent earned over 75 million hashtag impressions on Twitter from 18 November to end of December 2016, with Co-op the only brand associated with the conversation.

How we heard about #ReverseAdvent

It was my mum who first told me about the concept, when people in her social community started sharing the idea to encourage people to support local charities over the Christmas period.

In August the team and I started to do some digging.

We used Brandwatch Analytics and our own investigative work, and we discovered that by as early as the start of September, the top five tweets about #ReverseAdvent had amassed over 100,000 impressions combined – and there was a thread on MumsNet about the idea too.

There was something there.

The intelligence Brandwatch provided helped us to scope the opportunity and then secure buy-in from the business to proceed.

How Co-op supported #ReverseAdvent

Any brand can tweet along with a viral trend or encourage users to buy their products to donate at Christmas, but few can facilitate social giving like Co-op can.

This is because Co-op Members earn 1% to give back to their community when they buy selective Co-op products and services (which launched on 21 September 2016). #ReverseAdvent provided a new mechanism for social users to also give back to their communities.

Our strategy was simple:

  •      Tell social users about the idea
  •      Facilitate social users getting involved (supplying packs including vouchers, a box for donations and hints and tips)
  •      Champion social users and their stories (user-generated content, or UGC).

How we told social users and facilitated them getting involved

We worked with BDA on a video call to action, which would explain what #ReverseAdvent was and how Co-op was helping social users get involved.

The video call to action was purposefully short (32 seconds) and understandable without sound turned on, based on our knowledge of how users consume content on social media.

Co-op colleagues

We offered Co-op colleague social users the chance to participate first, by allocating a number of our packs to them the day before general release. We published the video call to action to colleagues on our Co-op Colleagues Facebook Page.

Social media influencers

We allocated an amount to social media influencers we’d worked with on behalf Co-op businesses throughout 2016 (bloggers and YouTubers included).

Co-op Members and other social users

We published the video call to action on Co-op’s Twitter and Facebook linking through to a blog post which further explained the idea and how social users could get involved.

How we championed social users and their stories

We prompted social users to post social updates on their progress in the following ways:

Publishing content from Co-op social media accounts, prompting action, and directly messaging each participant at least once.

We championed social users and their stories in the following ways:

  •       Responding to users, with words of encouragement  (simple, but important)
  •       Publishing UGC (with users’ permission)
  •       Publishing Twitter whitelisted adverts (targeting tailored audiences of users with social media influencers’ content).

#ReverseAdvent: The results

  •      The #ReverseAdvent hashtag achieved over 75 million impressions on Twitter from 18 November to end of December 2016
  •      Co-op was the only brand associated with the trend
  •      90% of our social media influencers and 80% of our overall community of participating social users posted about #ReverseAdvent at least once
  •      Our call to arms video achieved over 44,000 impressions on Twitter on 19 November and our Facebook video over 24,000 video views (over 3 seconds) on 19 November too without any media spend
  •      278 smiley face emojis were used alongside #ReverseAdvent tweets.

Co-op’s #ReverseAdvent has been nominated for Best Viral Campaign at The Drum’s Digital Industry’s Awards 2017 (DADI Awards), and Co-op’s Social Media Team have also been nominated for Best Team at the DADIs and UK Social Media Communications Awards 2017.

Thank you to everyone who got involved, and stay tuned for this holiday season’s charitable campaigns!

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