Poppies for families

by Stratton Craig

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The Poppy Appeal, headed by the Royal British Legion, raises millions every year for the armed forces: in 2011, it broke previous records with a remarkable £40 million total. However, there’s always room for improvement, and each year the organisation considers new ways to raise even more funds to help the British troops as they return home.

Previous Poppy Appeal campaigns have tended to focus on individual soldiers, and the troubles and traumas that they go through. For the 2013 appeal, however, Robert Lee, Associate Director of Marketing at the Royal British Legion, has decided to opt for a family-oriented approach.

In a recent interview with Marketing Week, he said:  “Our challenge is to reinvent something that is very popular and well-known every year. This year we are family-orientated, highlighting the assistance that service men and their dependents need to transfer back to civvy street.”

By focusing on families, the Poppy Appeal is likely to charm an even wider range of donors. While the image and story of a solider alone is undoubtedly emotive, most members of the public will find it easier to relate to those left behind.

To work effectively, this new approach needs to combine poignant images with equally affecting words. One of the Poppy Appeal’s posters shows a young girl, with the caption ‘a poppy for my daddy’. Another features a veteran of the Korean War, with the copy ‘a poppy for those who served’.

Even successful marketing schemes need to be kept fresh with changes from year to year – the key is ensuring that these changes are consistent across the board. The new Poppy Appeal campaign uses the stories of those affected by war to make its mark, and it does so with images and words that work together well.

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