Using promotion to campaign for public services
A UNISON case study

Page 4: Above-the-line promotion

unison-4Above-the-line promotion uses mass media such as the press, radio, television, cinema or poster sites. This type of promotion is usually paid-for. Each of the possible media methods can be used to target audiences in different market segments. There are both strengths and drawbacks to these forms of media:

UNISON embarked on a wave of television, internet and newspaper adverts for the Million Voices campaign. They warned that the vital services provided by public sector workers could disappear if the funding cuts went ahead. The adverts featured a list of vital public service jobs fading out of sight and featured the tagline ‘Don’t wait until they’re gone to defend them’.

A powerful campaign film was also released that illustrated how local communities would be affected by cuts. A version of this film aimed at recruiting members to UNISON was shown on television using DRTV (direct response television – a good value way of buying television space based on viewing numbers rather than programme status).

The online and newspaper adverts linked back to the campaign website where people can register their support and add a comment. Since above-the-line promotion can reach such a huge audience, it was an ideal choice to generate a wider awareness of the plight of the public sector.

UNISON | Using promotion to campaign for public services

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