Commonwealth War Graves Commission appoints Zest the Agency to launch its new international charity

The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation will help preserving the memory of those who fell during the world wars.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has appointed Zest the Agency to help keep the stories of fallen servicemen and woman alive.

The creation of the Commission in 1917 marked a major turning point in the way service personnel were honoured after death, each treated with the respect they deserve no matter their rank. Now, 100 years on, the commission is launching its charitable arm, the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation, which is tasked with empowering and educating young people to carry the legacy forward for centuries to come.

The integrated marketing agency was tasked with officially launching the Foundation, which encompassed the creation of a new brand identity, narrative, tone of voice and all supporting collateral. After securing a project of such international significance, the Zest project team was deployed to turn the Foundation’s ambitions into reality inside a six-week timeframe. Following the discovery phase of the project, Zest’s creative team came up with a scheme of branding which was immediately adored by the client.

The brand narrative of ‘We keep their stories alive’ focuses on making the collateral personal, with an element of reflection and highlighting ‘then and now’. The brand logo had the flexibility be used across a range of projects due to interchangeable strapline to suit different target audiences – of which there are many.

Merging black and white war imagery with modern-day pictures and vibrant yellow typography, the brand captured the spirit of the charity. It highlighted the ultimate need to bridge the generation gap between those who made the ultimate sacrifice and today’s young people.

Zest PR supported the client with the creative delivery of a VIP and media launch event for the charity, which will take place on Tuesday, 7 November.

Liz Woodfield, director of information and communications at The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation will play a key role in preserving the memory of those who gave their lives in two world wars – so we had to get the launch, branding and messaging just right.

“We wanted an agency that could work alongside our professional in-house team to deliver a campaign that would have impact, would excite and yet build on our core values and reputation. From the outset, the Zest team understood our needs and delivered a creative solution which excited us and energised the launch.”

Belinda Collins, group managing director of Zest The Agency, said: “We were over the moon to be selected to deliver marketing and PR for the launch of such an internationally significant charity and incredibly worthy cause.

“We had a lot to deliver in a short timeframe and worked closely with the client, fully immersing ourselves in their vision and values to make sure we nailed the brief, and got the tone of such a sensitive and meaningful project just right.”

Bruce Smith, creative director at Zest The Agency, said: “This campaign demonstrates a real sea change for the agency moving forward. Defining, creating and launching brands from the inside out.”

The team have also recently invited national, regional and specialist media to a poignant event at Tower Hill Memorial in Trinity Square, London. The impact of the fading legacy of the war dead was illustrated through a one-off, minute-long special performance involving actors and children, and culminating in eerie sounding of a service whistle - last used by a young officer on the battlefields of the Somme a century ago.

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Michael Feeley

Michael Feeley is The Drum Network's consultant journalist, advising and assisting member agencies on their editorial submissions and contributions to The Drum.

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