Cancer Research UK has launched a new documentary-style campaign as part of a wider effort to make its brand more distinctive.

A heartwarming advert depicting a four-year-old cancer patient with his teacher was launched this week and is part of the charity’s drive to create numerous pieces of content that can be shared online.

Anthony Newman, Director of Brand, Marketing and Communications at Cancer Research UK, pointed out that while its recent ads have helped to change brand perceptions, they have not always pushed “the right emotional buttons.”

Furthermore, he said the charity’s marketing strategy has often been quite fragmented, which in turn has hampered its ability to stand out.

“We need more coherence and consistency and going hand in hand with that is distinctiveness,” he commented.

“Some of our competition, which only has a fundraising audience to worry about, has been able to put across a more distinctive look and feel to their brand, and we haven’t achieved as well on that.”

Mr Newman stated that if the charity does advertising where it tells people about the brand without actually asking them to give, it can be “a bit of an empty message.”

“By making our brand advertising responsive, it’s putting out a message in a tangible way,” he said.

“We’ve moved from launching ‘just’ a brand advertising campaign to being integrated across all the propositions that we’re marketing.”

Cancer Research UK is working with tracking agency Brain Juicer to measure people’s emotional responses to its advertising.

Mr Newman said that while this does not explicitly determine how people will act on the advertising, it does show that making an emotional impact is “the most likely factor for people to act on.”

Cancer Research UK on shifting to a masterbrand approach Marketing Week