Getting food vouchers directly into the hands of families meant a direct campaign


Like our client, who’s always championed better value for families, we feel very strongly about what the free school meals program is aiming to achieve. In particular:

  • Families—and especially children—should have access to a healthy diet
  • Children’s potential should not be held back due to lack of a good diet
  • Schools should have more control over how their FSM allocation is spent

We also felt it was vital to keep the free school meals issue at the top of the agenda and ensure organisations knew how easy it was to make them more accessible for families. This meant we had to pull on all our best direct response campaign know-how for this project.


Our objective was to help Asda get food vouchers directly into the hands of the parents with children who needed them, ensuring they received the full financial benefit. So for us, it was very much a b2b2c brief, and very human approach to the creative message was required.


Decision makers and budget holders responsible for financing school meal vouchers.


We knew we had to take this campaign out of the realm of an everyday b2b activity. So the plan was to build a direct relationship with schools, thereby removing third party distributors and private catering companies from the process.

Therefore, our Free School Meals campaign targeted Head Teachers, Teachers and Finance Managers within primary and secondary schools in England and Wales.

Asda for Business 2

We initially set to the task with Asda with a goal of working with 250 schools, either directly or via the local education authority.

We had to think about the most practical and cost effective ways we could reach them and build engagement in a digital space. So we used highly targeted and personalised emails, with a very human angle within the messaging.

As well as monitoring opens and CTRs, we retargeted unopened addresses to ensure we got the most out of the existing database.

Our messaging took a very agile approach, too, as we tapped into the media stories—and the resulting social media furore—about the poor quality of food parcels some parents were receiving, as many private catering companies profiteered from the government scheme.

Making continuous improvements including message testing and tweaking, helped the campaign become a massive success. In fact it contributed to Asda helping more families than any other supermarket.

Asda for Business 4 1

Working with Asda we were able to attribute new applications for 562 new schools and colleges back to our activity vs a campaign target of 250.

In addition to that, they also opened accounts with 52 new local education authorities and local government organisations.

Nearly all channels out performed any previous activity including:

  • Email open rates of 20.21% vs a previous Asda Business average of just over 4%
  • Paid media generated over 8 million impressions, gaining huge brand awareness.
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