Co-op has pulled its Easter ad campaign and donated airtime worth £2.5m to fight hunger amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The original campaign promoted the supermarket’s chocolate eggs, but it will now instead boost the work of FareShare, a charity that tackles hunger and food waste.
Co-op and its agency, Lucky Generals, have created a TV spot that pays tribute to local heroes who are helping to feed the nation during this crisis.
The ad features real Co-op staff from around the country speaking through a video-conferencing app, adhering to the government’s guidelines on social distancing. The employees stumble through common video call mishaps such as a failing microphone and kids in the background to deliver a message about coming together and helping those in need.
"Even though we’re apart, we can still help each other out," it concludes.
A new scheme encourages customers to support food banks by donating in stores at the till in amounts ranging from 50p to £5, or via text to a dedicated number. Co-op has already pledged £1.5m of food to FareShare.
Jo Whitfield, retail chief executive of Co-op, said: "In these times of national crisis, food banks are a lifeline for those who rely on the donations to feed their families. Demand for food bank services has already gone up in the past couple of weeks and this is only set to grow as the number of people who unexpectedly find themselves without a regular or reduced income increases.
"Every day, we are seeing outstanding acts of kindness as communities pull together to support those who are struggling, and our amazing Co-op members and customers tell us they want to help to support their communities and do right by those in greatest need… If we all co-operate together, we can make a huge difference."
The work was directed in-house at Lucky Generals by Kelvin Hutchins. Dentsu Aegis Network is the media agency.
Kate Murphy, creative director at Lucky Generals, added: "We have found ourselves in a time when we need co-operation more than ever. And that's no different for brands, who need to be finding ways to not only help the communities they are in, but also allow those communities to pull together and make a real difference in a time of need for so many. We hope this ad plays a part."