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By Awards Analyst, writer

November 12, 2019 | 5 min read

AB was commended in the Best Public Sector or Government Marketing Campaign category at The Drum Content Awards 2019 for its ‘Proud to Care Devon’ campaign with Devon County Council. Here, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful campaign.

The challenge

Recruitment and retention can be tough for health and care organisations. Many roles have low pay, unsociable working hours and require staff to use their own car for work. But working in care and health can be extremely rewarding as care workers have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives. Apprenticeship support workers, entry-level wellbeing facilitators and assistant practitioners are also great starting points for people considering future careers such as nursing, occupational therapy and social work.

Proud to Care Devon wanted to recruit 17 to 25-year-olds who uphold the essential values of compassion, commitment and above all, caring. The challenge for this campaign was to reach this audience and inspire them to apply for jobs and apprenticeships on the Proud to Care Devon website. The timeline of the project with 11 March – 31 May 2019.


  • Maximise reach of campaign collateral.
  • Drive sessions on the Proud to Care Devon website.
  • Generate referral visits to the jobs landing page.
  • Generate job applications.

The strategy

Understanding what motivates the target audience, their ambitions for their career and how working in care could appeal to them was a crucial starting point.

We know Gen Z are the ultimate digital natives and spend around seven hours a day actively online. They are hardworking, independent and financially responsible. They dislike rigid working environments and would rather be in control of their own destiny. Practical, realistic and driven to make a difference, this age group would enjoy many aspects of a career in health and care.

From previous campaigns, we know that film content gains around 15x more engagement on social channels than static content. This audience use Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook to engage with friends, as well as follow celebrities and bloggers. The vast majority also spend time consuming film content on YouTube. The combination of their tendency to be highly influenced by their peers, the time spent on social media and their natural affinity with film content, meant it made sense to create content that could be natively uploaded, shared and promoted through these channels.

All the insights indicated that film was the perfect medium to convey to this audience an authentic, realistic view of the difference each individual can make in the lives of the people they care for. We knew instinctively that real people in real situations was the only way to deliver a true reflection of the human compassion that is a core element of working in care.

The campaign

With the help of Devon County Council, we invited six health and care workers and nurses who matched our audience demographic to become our film stars. It was important to capture their authentic moments with patients and colleagues to show what this work involves. The film shows the freedom, fun and fulfilment you get from a career in the health and care sector.

Alongside the film we created a suite of coordinating assets including vertical film edits, short film clips and animated banners. We advised the client on their website landing page, which was the destination for campaign referrals. The campaign ran across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Ads, YouTube and Bing Ads and incorporated several creative and platform tests.

The results

The campaign resonated exceptionally well with the audience, exceeding all the KPIs. We smashed the target of 120 job applications, achieving 142.

To targets:

  • Achieve collateral impressions - 1264%.
  • Drive website sessions - 485%.
  • Referrals to care jobs section of the Proud to Care Devon website - 234%.
  • Generate job applications - 118%.

Rebecca Bond, communications and marketing officer, Devon County Council, said: “AB proposed three great creative ideas for the Proud to Care Devon campaign, choosing just one was difficult! The whole team worked really hard to understand Proud to Care Devon and delivered a challenging campaign in a very tight deadline. They were professional, a pleasure to work with and put all the participants in the film and photography at ease. The result is a positive, upbeat, eye-catching and most importantly – authentic and moving campaign, that makes us and the people who appear in it very proud.”

This campaign was commended in The Drum Content Awards 2019. If you think you can do better, register your interest in next year's awards.

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