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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: Midlands Co-operative Society - Mission Firefly Film

28th August 2013


Company: Midlands Co-operative Society Campaign: Mission Firefly Film Category: Best use of Video - South - WINNER Objective Midlands Co-operative Society (MCS) is one of the largest independent UK retail societies employing over 7,000 staff across its business areas including food, funeral services, floral and fashion & home. The Society needed to breathe new life into a tired initiative, ‘Helping Hands’, after a review, prompted by the launch of the Society’s new five year strategy, concluded it supported a number of core strategic objectives: • Developing synergy between Society businesses • Engaging with and developing colleagues • Maximising core businesses • Adding brand value The voluntary ‘Helping Hands’ scheme involved colleagues from the Society’s Business Support Centre (BSC) being deployed around the Society’s retail stores during the busy pre-Christmas and January sale trading period.  With colleague interest in the scheme at an all time low in 2010, a new campaign was required to re-ignite interest and engagement. Campaign objectives: • Significantly increase: - colleagues taking part -  number of stores supported -  senior management involvement • Increase business performance • Ensure positive ‘Firefly’ experiences, helping to realise the scheme objectives Video objectives: • Explain Mission Firefly to colleagues • Encourage colleagues to take part in the scheme • Position Mission Firefly as significantly different to Helping Hands (which was perceived as old fashioned, outdated and boring) • Engage and excite colleagues, both at the BSC and in the stores, about Mission Firefly • Produce a video which offers flexibility of delivery Challenges: • Re-invigorating a tired initiative • Overcoming apathy and making colleagues actively want to volunteer • Getting buy-in and support from senior management Strategy & Target Audience  A team was formed to breathe new life into the scheme and a new creative theme was developed to re-ignite colleague interest.  Mission Firefly was born and the project team became ‘Team Firefly’. Colleagues at the BSC were asked to sign-up to become a ‘Firefly’, helping at the business front line pre-Christmas and in January.  A full suite of communications materials were developed as part of the campaign to create excitement around the sign-up and explain the campaign.  A Mission Firefly video formed part of the communications materials and was instrumental to the campaign’s success. Target Audience: Primary: BSC colleagues, including senior management Secondary: Store colleagues Action A Mission Firefly video, starring colleagues, explained the campaign using humour to gain stand out with viewers.  The video aimed to communicate the fun approach of the campaign in order to encourage colleague engagement and participation.  By echoing Harry Enfield’s Mr Cholmondley-Warner sketches of the 1990s, which spoofed early public service films, the video directly addressed colleagues’ views that the current scheme was old fashioned and outdated. This was then juxtaposed with footage about the new Mission Firefly scheme for dramatic effect and stand out. The video was used in team huddles at the BSC and by managers to brief store colleagues as well as being accessible via the Society intranet. The video consisted of two separate halves which could be used together or individually, depending on the communication need. Results The video received extremely positive feedback from colleagues who felt that it explained the campaign in an honest and humorous way.  The creative approach gave the video real stand out with colleagues meaning that it contributed significantly to the overall success of the campaign.  Some key campaign highlights are listed below: Increase in volunteers – 336 BSC colleagues volunteered, 97 per cent of those targeted, up more than eight times on the 40 taking part the previous year.  In total 378 days/shifts were carried out by volunteers. Increase in the stores supported – 187 stores were supported, up from six in the previous year, representing a 3,100 per cent increase. Increase in senior management involvement – All Executive team members and general managers engaged with the campaign, plus other senior managers. In total 47 senior personnel were involved, up from two the previous year. Increase in business performance – Mission Firefly sales race activity resulted in an uplift of 284,000 units sold, equating to £289,000 additional sales. The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.    

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