BMP DDB Needham is launching a major new initiative for Unison, the
country’s biggest public-service union, with a pounds 1.2 million TV
push to recruit more members.
In what Unison’s general secretary, Alan Jinkinson, described as ‘a
giant leap for trade unionism’, Unison is claiming to be the first
British trade union to recruit members through television advertising.
The campaign is also the first recruitment advertising for the
The animated commercial, which will run initially on Channel 4,
demonstrates how there is strength in numbers by showing an army of ants
moving a large, gormless bear out of their path.
Written and art directed by BMP’s executive creative director, John
Webster, and the senior copywriter, Nick Gill, the 50-second film opens
on a stupid bear, who ignores one ant’s polite plea of ‘Excuse me’.
Another ant joins in, but still the bear will not budge so they recruit
the efforts of a whole army of ants, which bellow: ‘Get out of the way!’
and the bear moves.
A voiceover then says: ‘From nurses to park keepers, from librarians to
meals- on-wheels - if you want to be heard, speak in Unison.’
The film, which cost pounds 65,000 to produce, was directed by Jerry
Hibbert of Hibbert Ralph Animation. It targets young people in a bid to
replace the 200,000 members who drop out of the union each year.
Jinkinson said: ‘It’s not necessary to put on an exotic, glossy,
expensive ad to be effective. Ours is succinct and it conveys, in
images, the essence of trade unionism.’
The campaign will air again in April, and may include cinema work.