The purpose of the ads was to draw attention to the important work that the Umbrella Health Trust does in a light hearted and memorable way through the creative use of language.

The Umbrella Health Trust has launched a metaphor-led campaign across Birmingham following consultancy and collaboration from Professor Jeannette Littlemore and the EMMA team, and Jewellery Quarter-based advertising agency, Big Cat Agency.

The new campaign ran across Birmingham and mixed local landmarks with word play and innuendo to encourage people to order a free STI self-sampling kit and to raise awareness of sexual health.

The adverts are the result of months of collaboration and investigation into how figurative messaging (the use of metaphors and other types of figurative language) could enhance the creativity of this campaign, and make it more likely to resonate with people in the area.

Jon Sharp, Creative Director at Big Cat, said, “The campaign ran in Birmingham and Solihull so there’s an opportunity to resonate more with a localised audience by talking their lingo. Using local landmarks and innuendo word play, we created engaging headlines that include a direct call to action.”

Samantha Ford, Research Associate for EMMA, added, “Working with Big Cat Agency and Umbrella was very exciting in terms of applying metaphor research to word play and innuendo, and quite amusing too. We tested two different concepts for a campaign to run for non-profit organisation Umbrella Trust. The results showed that the campaign using word play for local landmarks in Birmingham strongly resonated with regional participants. Setting the right pitch of the innuendo, its level of novelty, and where in Birmingham and Solihull the campaign should be released were key elements to the creative process, for which EMMA and Big Cat worked on closely together.”

bus stop advert

The investigation involved a regional survey that collated consumer responses from people across a range of demographics including age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. Participants said that the local landmark campaign was:

A good way to catch attention

A great call to action

Local, funny and very relevant

The Umbrella Health 2019 campaign achieved its goals to raise awareness of the Umbrella Health Trust and its free STI self-sampling kits. The campaign increased traffic on the Umbrella website, social media channels, and also increased the numbers of STI kits ordered and returned to the clinic by 64% (female) and 53% (male).