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Age UK turns to geo-targeted billboards to highlight loneliness among older people over the festive period

The challenges faced by elderly people throughout the winter period often hit the headlines in the run up to Christmas, and this year Age UK has launched a nationwide digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign to highlight the loneliness faced by some as December rolls around.

Dubbed 'No one should have no one at Christmas', the centrepiece of the charity’s campaign comes in the form of geo-targeted digital posters, which draw upon its ‘lonliness heat maps’ to show pedestrians how pensioners in their local area are affected by loneliness during the festive season and other times of the year.

Launched earlier this year, the heat maps show the relative risk of loneliness across 32,844 neighbourhoods in England, using data from the 2011 Census and the posters used in the activation reference locally relevant figures to draw attention to the isolation felt by some pensioners; an example of this is the Holloway Head billboard in Birmingham which reads: 'There are 41,000 lonely older people in the West Midlands’ alongside the strapline ‘No one should have no one’ and a call to action to visit Age UK’s website.

The push aims to drive donations, encourage people to volunteer, take action locally and raise public awareness of the issue more broadly. The DOOH activity supports a larger outdoor push and is part of a fully integrated campaign spanning direct response and social media.

Age UK’s senior brand identity manager, Beverley Sullivan, said: “It is important to highlight this issue at Christmas, a time of year when many older people may feel especially lonely and ‘left out’ of the festivities. DOOH gives us the opportunity to reach a national audience with locally relevant messaging which we hope will really resonate with people and encourage them to help Age UK to combat loneliness at Christmas and throughout the year.”

Creative production house Grand Visual developed the campaign from repurposed poster artwork, while the drive was planned and booked by Talon and runs across Primesight, Signature and Clear Channel roadside D48 networks.

Age UK's campaign follows on from a similarly emotive Christmas project from Alzheimer’s Research UK in which Santa is depicted as having dementia. To check out some of the other fantastic Christmas creative submitted by brands click here.