The story behind the RNIB's push to get supermarkets to think differently about packaging
The Royal National Institute of Blind People and The &Partnership set out to convince supermarkets to change their ways when it comes to packing – and won the Grand Prix and Best Use of Emotion awards in B2B Marketing at The Drum B2B Awards.
The WhatsIn Store provided an experiential, emotive way to highlight the lived experience of blind and partially sighted people
The RNIB represents blind and sight-impaired people in the UK, many of whom are not catered to the same extent as their fully-sighted counterparts. That has created gaps in experience for visually impaired consumers when it comes to supermarket shopping and information provision.
The reality of shopping while blind is very different from that for people with sight. As a result, the vast majority of the public remains unaware of the challenges associated with shopping for food and drink when much of the visual information on packing is difficult or impossible to parse. That is creating an unequal experience for blind shoppers – so the RNIB and The&Partnership set out to raise awareness of the issue, and ultimately to create a more equal experience in supermarkets.
The&Partnership created a pop-up experiential stunt in Hammersmith, London. It challenged the public to browse supermarket products that were clad in blank and uninformative packaging.
Fly-on-the-wall cameras were deployed to capture public reactions to inaccessible packaging. The agency then edited the footage to tell a story of the real-life everyday experiences of blind and partially sighted people in a way that they would not otherwise have thought about. This video was then shared across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, in addition to boosted shares to reach supermarket decision-makers on LinkedIn and Teads Video.
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The video generated 17,224 clicks and 19,198 engagements, more than 1.5 times the team‘s target. The public reaction on social media saw 94% positive social sentiment, with the majority of mentions analyzed focusing on the need for fairness and inclusivity in supermarkets. This provided tangible evidence that the public actively empathise with the issue and – crucially – provided social proof for businesses to act upon.
As a result, six major UK supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Spar) were engaged in serious conversations with RNIB. Those brands represent a total market share of 61.5%. Meanwhile, the campaign’s impact went beyond supermarkets, leading to conversations between the RNIB and eight huge brands including Coca-Cola, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Amazon, Revolution, Air Global Ltd and Nomad.
It was an emotive campaign, but by leveraging their knowledge of the lived experience of being blind and partially sighted, the team managed to create real change.
This campaign was a winner at The Drum B2B Awards 2022. The full list of winners can be found here.
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