News from the Loved One

Charles 1 Comment

We may or we may not grow bored with people who tease and tantalise our appetites for new stuff we don’t actually need. Whether you’re the sort of person whose ears prick up when the ads come on, or whether, like me, you go fill your glass with yet more red wine, we accept that this is, for better or for worse, the way the world is, the way we are. It’s a game. And because it’s the baser instincts that feed the furnace of our getting-and-spending economy, there are thousands of cunning people out there (creatives, they call themselves) dedicated to devising devilishly alluring schemes to part us from our money.

I may sound grumpy and jaundiced. Perhaps you think it’s all terrific fun. I don’t want ever to fall into the error of supposing what I think to be right. But we probably all agree that, while we are prepared to tolerate or even embrace those who would address our living needs – a better motorcar, a cleaner toilet, a sunnier holiday – we draw the line when they fatten themselves on death. It is, therefore, with unmixed feelings that I recoil from Co-operative Funeralcare’s new media campaign to sell more funeral plans. Here’s how it works:

The £190,000 ‘Life is amazing. Pass it on’ campaign was devised by Cheltenham agency TDA and aims to rekindle childhood memories of learning to tie shoelaces, being taught to ride a bicycle and ‘cooking with mother’.

Confused? Told you it was cunning.

“The campaign follows in-depth focus groups, a survey of Co-operative members and ongoing analysis,” says Adeline Bibby, marketing manager for The Co-operative Life Planning. “The resulting insight showed people are extremely interested in their heritage, and they want their lives to be remembered and have relevance in the future too.”

She says heritage, she means legacy, poor thing.

They are beating a path to your heart. They are coming in sheep’s clothing. Want to get to the bottom of this? Go here. Then have a look at the dedicated webpage, where you can pass on your advice to the next generation. Very, very tempting. Here.

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12 years ago

What has really angered me about this is not the mawkish guff of the campaign (though that's bad enough), but the fact that these advertisements will be played in shops. I well remember several occasions, when I worked for the Co-op, talking to customers who were coping with a family member's terminal illness or recent death. And as for the staff – and there were a few – in a similar situation, having to listen to this during their shift – appalling. I've put a comment on the site – Always remember "Cui bono" – in the name of Mr… Read more »