Zenith – Scottish Widows
An established campaigner for women’s interests, Scottish Widows was founded to protect the long-term financial interests of women. On average, women retire with £124,000 less in their pension pot than men. Or, to put it another way, women would need to start work before they were even born to achieve pension parity with men.
For Scottish Widows, International Women’s Day is a key moment for addressing this inequity. In 2023, the pension provider faced several challenges: its budget had been slashed by half, competitors were ‘me-tooing’ about the gender pension gap and the cost-of-living crisis meant people were cancelling or reducing their pensions. Despite this, Scottish Widows wanted to regain its place at the front of the agenda on this issue.
With less budget, Scottish Widows could not afford TV. It turned this to an advantage by focussing on the news agenda.
To make it into the news, Scottish Widows had to behave like the news. Less AV, less ‘widow’; more data visualisation, right for a news format. It created a series of attention-grabbing charts showing the scale of the gender pension gap, and targeted women and key opinion formers.
The campaign was short but sharp, focussed aroundInternational Women’s Day. In the run up to the day, Scottish Widows launched in the Observer, The Sunday Times and the Guardian online, supported by Twitter, Meta, YouTube and OOH. On the day itself (8 March), delivery was ramped up across all channels and a partnership with Mail Metro Media Group delivered stand out creative formats across their portfolio.
The campaign used a combination of front-page strips, floating strips and half double-page spread formats to push its graph-led message, as well as demonstrating the “gap” messaging across long horizontal placements.
Print was complemented by impactful takeover formats on Guardian online, using highly impactful takeover formats including skins, keyword takeovers, mobile formats and partnering with the news brand’s ‘Business Today’ newsletter.
By midday on International Women’s Day, Scottish Widows knew the news brand led campaign was delivering. SNP MP Robert Thomson highlighted the print campaign in Prime Minister’s Questions, challenging Rishi Sunak to solve the issue and later tweeting one of the campaign graph ads to his followers. This was purely as a result of Scottish Widow’s campaign and without any direct approach.
Despite its budget being halved, Scottish Widows’ brand tracking showed a notable uplift against respondents who agreed the campaign demonstrated expertise, as well as an equally significant uplift against those that agreed Scottish Widows understand their financial needs.
I felt they really tailored their creative approach and their strategy to fit against the context in which they were going to be operating.Laura Gooday, director of healthcare marketing, Boots