Arthri­tis Care: peo­ple like us’ campaign

Exhibited by
Reuben Turner.
August 17, 2009
Medium of Communication
Direct mail, online, posters, press advertising
Target Audience
Awareness, individuals
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
October, 2007

SOFII’s view

This colourful, imaginative campaign recruited new members at one third of previous costs. It achieved this because it’s creative, engaging and thought-provoking, which, we feel, is what you need to be if you aspire to stir people from their daily routine into doing something different. If this pack had followed the traditional formula of acquisition direct mail it wouldn’t have worked nearly so well. In its effort to stand out, it became outstanding.

Creator / originator

Cascaid /Arthritis Care.

Summary / objectives

To drive membership recruitment online.


There are nine million people in the UK with arthritis. Just a few thousand of them are members of Arthritis Care, the UK’s only voluntary organisation run by and for people with the condition. This doesn’t seem right. This campaign was designed to recruit as many people as possible to membership via low-cost channels – in particular online. It also tested many elements – channels, messages, formats and asks.

Special characteristics

The campaign was built around a series of short video diaries made by people with arthritis. A micro-site was in turn built around the films, then press advertising, email and direct mail were used to send people to the site. The campaign was launched around World Arthritis Day to take advantage of the additional publicity.

Influence / impact

The organisation has recruited many new members (with whom it can now build a lifelong relationship) – at a third of the cost of previous membership recruitment methods. It’s also proved that you can reach an older market online and use multiple channels to get them to your site.


The strategy behind the campaign is very clever – it’s about ‘all roads leading to Rome’. Responders are inexorably channeled into the membership page on the website. But it’s possible to get there in many varied ways. The ‘people like us’ campaign idea is also clever and works on many levels – of course people with arthritis are people like us (everyday people). But members of Arthritis Care are also people just like you – you are joining a community of peers. So it works for both awareness and recruitment.

Other relevant information

Complex, integrated campaigns like this can only happen if a) the client throws a large amount of money at them or b) the client and agency work together as a single team. In this case the chosen approach was b) – and it was a very successful one.