Birmingham City Council


January 2014

What’s new?

Birmingham City Council (BCC) had a challenge on their hands. People were enquiring about their fostering and adoption services but very few people were actually becoming adoptive parents or foster carers.

With over 170 children currently awaiting a new home in the Birmingham area, BCC needed a new way to find and engage the right kind of prospective parents.

Little Moments

In other parts of the country, and even nationally, a lot of adoption and fostering brands and advertising campaigns focus too much on the doom and gloom of raising child, using images of sad children to try and encourage parents and carers to sign up, but in reality the process is so much more than that.

Before starting the creative process, we prepared a detailed 60-page research report that examined current adoption and fostering trends and gave us a clear insight into our target audience.

On top of this, we facilitated an ORB Drawing Board Session with adoptive parents, foster carers and one young girl who had been raised by foster carers.

From hearing everyone’s real-life stories and seeing how much work goes into adoption and fostering on both sides of the family, we learnt that coating the process in sugar wouldn’t get the results we were after.

In this simple discovery we found the core message for this campaign.

“Making lives better.”

Getting creative

As with almost everything we do at ORB, the process to finding the right look and tone of voice for this project started on paper. Armed with our findings from the research stage, we developed five possible brand routes for the client and discussed each one in detail with a testing group of adoptive parents and foster carers.

Throughout the day, the group consistently agreed that the key messages we needed to focus on to secure the right type of audience were:

• The little moments which capture the highs and lows of adoption
• And the fact that these little moments make everything worthwhile

With this in mind we decided to best way to present this would be through actually showcasing children doing what they do best. Whether it’s a hug before bedtime, or making mischief at teatime, it’s those moments we set out to shout about.

New responsive website

From speaking to parents and carers, we discovered that joining the adoption or fostering process could be, not only a daunting prospect for prospective parents and carers, but also a confusing one.

A lot of national and regional adoption and fostering websites overcomplicate the adoption and fostering process, which puts people off their services.

The new responsive website combines clean, elegant and thoughtful design with copy that spells out everything a prospective adopter or fosterer needs to know.

Television advert

The TV advert, which aired on ITV, produced in partnership with Birmingham-based Vermillion Films, captures the magic of children and the special little moments that make adoption and fostering so worthwhile.

The advert first aired during high viewer shows like Loose Women, Coronation Street and Emmerdale. On the evening it aired, BCC reported a whopping 1650% increase in daily page views to their website.

Photography suite

The stunning professional photography featured on 1 in 4 buses in Birmingham, led the visual style for their new website and ultimately captures the ups, downs, highs and lows which make raising a child so worthwhile.

Information Packs

Another thing we learnt from speaking to existing parents and carers was that the more information available at the start of the process, the more likely people were to engage and sign up.

As such, we wrote easily digestible print and downloadable information packs that clearly explain everything someone considering adoption or fostering needs to know.

Hell Yeah!

Every project we take on at ORB is full of excitement but there is only ever one Hell Yeah! moment.

While working with BCC, this moment came when we found out the TV advert had been a huge success and daily traffic to the new BCC website had surged by a massive 1650%

Effective branding is only effective if everyone gets on board. Before launching this campaign we also facilitated a half-day training session with BCC’s adoption and fostering teams to motivate, excite and educate everyone about their much clearer direction for the future.

Our goal with this campaign has not only been to increase enquiries from prospective parents and carers, but to also improve engagement throughout the process, for both staff and potential parents.

By putting in an extensive amount of research and developing a solid understanding of our target audience, we’ve produced a suite of photography, a beautiful website, and a host of brand assets which will ensure BCC’s ongoing success and ensure their messaging and tone of voice remains consistent.

Hell Yeah! to that. Let’s all celebrate the little moments.