Social media campaign instructions to media agencies: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01668
Date received: 15 June 2018
Date responded: 9 July 2018

Information requested

A list of target audience briefings (including all instructions) given by the Scottish Government to media buying agencies for the purposes of running social media campaigns over the past two years (up to today's date). Including a break down by campaign and include all available information and the agency involved.


The following audience and targeting information has been taken from the campaign briefings for the last two years. The campaigns listed below are those which included social media advertising activity in their media. The campaigns are grouped around which of the Scottish Government portfolio brands each campaign was delivered under.

Greener (all activity delivered via media buying agency Carat)

Greener Overarching: Incorporates: Paws for Thought; Christmas Calendar; Winter Active Travel; March ReadyMag. ABC1s across Scotland with the income to have a lifestyle that has a high carbon footprint and as a result are in a position to make changes.

Home Energy Scotland: HES has an offer that is open to all Scottish homes that are owner occupied or rented by a private landlord. The audience divides into those who are in fuel poverty who might be eligible for direct support and those who are more affluent and can benefit from the interest free loan option. The direct mail campaign in 2015 was only able to identify 40,000 targets in Experian data who were: Homeowners; Classified as living in fuel poverty; Not already on EST database; Not contacted by the 2014 Direct Mail campaign; Likely to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

Save the World: The starting point in terms of target audience is the same audience as before (2015-16): ABC1s across Scotland with the income to have a lifestyle that has a high carbon footprint and as a result are in a position to make changes. The rationale for this previously was to avoid preaching to the green enthusiasts but also to stay away from those who are completely disengaged / have too many other life challenges to comprehend thinking about the environment. From the Greener Segmentation these were identified as follows and previously represented about a third of the population: Wealthy selectively engaged (8%); Busy family recyclers (5%); Professionals with green habits (19%).

However, the previous run of the campaign did not work well among the Wealthy Selectively Engaged who were the oldest and most up-market of the segments. On this basis the focus for the next burst should be younger and less up-market – not necessarily just focusing on these segments – so all younger BC1s across Scotland.

We can also see from previous research that both the Save the World and the 2014 Food Waste campaign were more motivating among younger respondents and achieved similar recognition and motivation among C2s as well as C1s and therefore the target audience could be broadened beyond BC1 to incorporate 16-44 year olds in the middle (BC1C2) social classes.

Healthier (all activity delivered via media buying agency Carat)

Childhood Flu: Parents of 2 to 5 year olds (and not yet in school). This will include parents whose child has been eligible for the vaccination already who need reminded of the annual vaccine and parents whose child is newly eligible this year.

Seasonal Flu: Those aged 65 years and those with underlying health conditions. Pregnant women (in all trimesters) and healthcare workers (directly involved in delivering care) are also key audiences.

Sepsis: Everyone in Scotland. Sepsis can happen to anyone of any age, gender or social status. Please note, for this brief, those who are more at risk – children, older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions – will be supported through activity targeting by health professionals, delivered by a separate work stream.

The Wee c: Promote specific posts from the wee c Facebook page to extend reach to our target audience of people in Scotland with positive messages and advice linked to cancer, cancer treatment and survival rates.

Cervical Screening: Females 25-35, Scotland. Upweight towards areas of low uptake: Greater Glasgow, Lothian, Fife, Tayside and Lanarkshire.

Bowel Screening: Males / females 45+ C1C2DE Scotland.

Breast Cancer: Females 45+ C1C2DE Scotland.

Lung Cancer: Promote an influencer message to males / females 35+ Scotland. Promote a more direct call of action message to our target audience males / females 55+ Scotland.

CPR: While the strategy for this topic identifies the specific need to increase the number of people in deprived areas (where CPR knowledge and response is low) who are able to perform CPR, at this early stage in working towards the 2020 target it remains important to communicate with as many people living in Scotland as possible.

Organ Donation: The campaign as a whole should raise mass awareness across an audience of all Scottish adults age 16+. Further targeting can be applied to digital advertising after launch to identify any segments that are more responsive to the advertising. Our core audience are those 18-64 who support organ donation, but have not yet registered. Research suggests that this is up to four fifths of those who haven't registered.

Smoking in Cars: This is a public information campaign to raise awareness of new legislation. We therefore need to communicate the change in the law to everyone in Scotland. As would be expected there is a higher prevalence of exposure to smoking in cars for children from lower SEG's (social-economic groups). Although there is no Scotland-only evidence, recent studies in Wales following the implementation of Welsh legislation show that car-based exposure was highest among children from lower SEG households (8.8%) compared to medium (6.5%) and higher (5.4%) SEG's. However, as smoking prevalence is notably higher in SIMD areas, we are likely to upweight communications where car ownership is also prevalent.

Smoking Cessation: C2D Smokers 25-54 years old living in the areas of multiple deprivation. Particularly - those in the 'contemplator' or 'ready for action' stages of change. Contemplators (preparation stage), the stage where current Smokers are intent on taking action to start the quitting process, be it thinking about cutting back, taking nicotine replacements (patches or gum) or considering talking to their GP or looking for services. Those at the Action stage who are already in the process of modifying their behaviour by quitting but who would benefit from the extra support provided by the Cessation services.

SPIRE: activity across all of the population to provide information about SPIRE and the option to opt-out on how data from their GP is used for research and planning purposes.

International (all activity delivered via media buying agency Republic of Media, except for Scotland Is Now which was delivered via Carat)

Tartan Day: People who live across the USA and Canada who are potentially interested in Scotland which is a very broad group consisting of: ex-pats; citizens with ancestral links; potential students/academics; professionals looking to relocate; business owners. We know that our current audience is older. However we would like to increase our engagement with the younger audience without alienating our existing audience.

Saltire Scholarship: High school seniors and undergraduate university students in USA, Canada and India.

Scotland's Winter Festivals:

  • St Andrews Day - Primary – ABC1 families in Scotland. Secondary – All adults in Scotland. Tertiary - Scotland's adult international diaspora and alumni (UK, USA, Canada, Aus, Europe)

  • Hogmanay Primary - Scotland's adult international diaspora and alumni (UK, USA, Canada, Aus, Europe). Secondary – All adults in Scotland

  • Burns: Primary – ABC1 adults in Scotland. Secondary – ABC1 families. Tertiary – All other adults in Scotland and Scotland's adult international diaspora and alumni (UK, USA, Canada, Aus, Europe)

ScotsStory: People who live across the USA and Canada who are potentially interested in Scotland which is a very broad group consisting of: ex-pats; citizens with ancestral links; potential students/academics; professionals looking to relocate; business owners. We know that our current audience is older. However we would like to increase our engagement with the younger audience without alienating our existing audience.

Promoted Posts: Various, based on the nature of the Facebook post promoted, for example an EU Tuition funding post was targeting EU university students.

Scotland Is Now: target Beijing and Shanghia residents via Weibo from 11 April to 15 April.

Parental (all activity delivered via media buying agency Carat)

Read Write Count: Parents / carers of children in P1, P2, P3 from areas of social deprivation / C2Ds. While we are aware that social marketing has a limited impact on Es, in order to fully address the attainment gap Es remain a secondary target.

PlayTalkRead: The target bulls eye audience is C2D parents/carers of 0-3 year olds in Scotland. However we are comfortable if the campaign also appeals to a wider audience in terms of age (up to the start of school) and to higher (ABC1) and lower (E) segs. There are also some specific audiences we should ensure we are being inclusive of when it comes to content, language, imagery, etc. These include: Dads, young parents, black and ethnic minorities, parents with disabilities (including learning disabilities), parents in prisons and expectant parents.

Eat Better Feel Better: Core target audience is C2D Mums with primary school-aged children. However, we would hope that some of these messages would extend to C2D mums with younger secondary school-aged children. In addition to this there is an opportunity to extend EBFB messaging to C2D parents with younger children, given the joins with Parent Club.

Parent Club (Pilot): C2D parents of 6mth-3 year olds who reside in Tayside.

Parent Club: Primary audience – C2D parents of 0-11 year olds; Secondary audience – C1, E parents of 0-11 year olds; Tertiary audience – AB parents of 0-11 year olds.

Safer (all activity delivered via media buying agency Republic of Media)

No Knives: Young people aged 11-17, males in particular, who live in areas that are affected by violence and knife crime. Research has shown that these young people, who go to the same school and live on the same estate as knife carriers, are most at risk of picking up a knife themselves. They are not yet involved in violent behaviour nor are they likely to be in a gang, however, they may go to the same school, live in the same area or know someone who has been affected by violence or knife crime. Our task is to influence these young people who are 'on the cusp' and help prevent them from picking up a knife in the first place and drifting into more hardened attitudes and behaviours.

Secondary audience of parents/carers of 11-17 year olds living in No Knives Better Lives areas. This includes a wide group of people who are responsible for the care of 11-17 year olds and whose concerns may include: worry about their children starting secondary school and becoming more exposed to the dangers of knife carrying; concern that knife carrying is an issue amongst their child's broad peer or closer friendship groups, realisation that their child may be already be involved in knife carrying right through to coping with the aftermath of knife crime in their area.

Please note: our activities must recognise sensitivities of those communities who have been affected by knife crime and offer a strong rationale that the NKBL campaign is positive and preventative.

Live Fast Die Old: All motorcyclists in Scotland. Our bulls eye audience are males ages 40-49 who statistically account for 25% of motorcycle casualties and 30% of those KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured).

Ready Scotland: All adults in Scotland, particularly head of households.

Vulnerable Road Users: Primary: Urban city drivers. Particularly - amongst those who almost or nearly always exceed the 30 mph (or 20mph) speed limit (Potentially with different messages for different ages groups based on previous campaign learnings, particularly the younger 17-34 age group). Secondary: People on pedals/bicycles and pedestrians.

Country Roads: Male car drivers 22-29 years old (approximately 124,866 living in Scotland). Driving behaviour: 17% use their cars every day of the week; 10% use their cars for leisure trips; 15% for commuting five times a week; 46% own their own car; 17% are thinking about buying their own car; 9% driving as a way of relaxing (Source: YouGov, RofM). As well as this, certain tribes tend to exist within twenty something friendship groups. They are prolific users of digital and social media.

Drink Drive: The primary audience is all drivers, however, the majority of drivers 'under the influence of alcohol/drugs involved in injury collisions' are male. 26 to 35 year old drivers are identified as the most at risk (mean age 34). (Source: Police Scotland 1 April 2016 to 31 July 2016). We need to reach people in social contexts during the festive season - those that are ill prepared, ignorant or unsure of the legislation and therefore unable to make the 'right' decision about driving after drinking alcohol – particularly at that critical point of decision making.

Human Trafficking: As this is a public information campaign it's important that we reach as many of the adult population (18+) in Scotland as possible.

Hate Crime: Bystanders. Members of the Scottish public who might witness hate crime, in public spaces, public transport or in the workplace. By targeting bystanders and increasing understanding / reporting it is likely that this will create a halo effect for victims. As the perpetrators are primarily in C2DE demographics, we hypothesise that the crimes are generally committed in areas of social deprivation and therefore bystanders also primarily be C2DE as well.

Klang: The audience for the app is children aged 8-11 who travel in the car with their parents. We would like there to be a 'parents guidance' section to explain to the parents/carers the reason for the app; to teach their children road safety and also to give the parents prompts and guidance to talk to their children about road safety.

Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images: As this is a public information campaign it's important that we reach as many of the population as possible. It's important that all Scots are aware of the new legislation. Up weight for 18-40 age group. Research points to victims more likely to be women so this should be reflected in our campaign.

We Are Scotland: Primary audience - Anxious middle. Roughly half the British public, are worried about the pressures brought by large-scale immigration, but understand the benefits too. They are up for sensible conversation about the pressures they feel from immigration and the solutions that might be available. They come from different backgrounds, live in different places and have different concerns that are based on their personal circumstances, experiences and understanding.

Smarter (all activity delivered via media buying agency Carat)

STEM Teacher Recruitment: Students currently studying STEM subjects at university; Qualified teachers in England, Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland who are considering a move to Scotland; Potential career changers currently working in STEM related industries.

Teacher Recruitment: Primary: University undergraduates in years 2 – 4 currently studying STEM subjects or English in Scotland. They are typically men and women between the ages of 20-24 years that live either with flatmates or with their parents. The individuals we are targeting are driven by intrinsic motivations such as altruism, sense of reward and contributing to community/society. They are heavy users of digital and outdoor media, light users of traditional media. Top sites visited are shopping, information, search engines, music streaming and services. Top social networks are Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp, with Twitter used for sharing interesting info.

Secondary: Career changers who have a degree in Home Economics related subjects such as consumer / food / textile studies and will be currently working in a related role such as the catering industry. As with undergraduates, we are targeting those looking for a career that provides satisfaction, altruism, growth, challenge and opportunity to use their degree. In the case of catering, these people may be looking for a better work/life balance. We should ideally target people in the first five years after graduation, when they're more likely to be willing to go back into study.

Early Learning and Childcare Recruitment: 4th and 5th year school pupils in Scotland (research highlights that 3rd year is too early and 6th year too late) who are most likely to be leaving school this year. These pupils may be considering training courses or what potential jobs they may like to do when they leave. This is most prevalent before picking their subjects or after exams. In fact many are undecided about what they will do until they have completed their exams and know what grades they've achieved and therefore the career options open to them.

There are approximately 50,000 school leavers in total each year.

They live at home. They change their minds often, and can be easily swayed by peers, culture and parental pressure. They have a range of mentors they can turn to for information about careers (parents/siblings/guidance teachers/careers advisors) but tend to have minimal engagement as they're focused on exams, or for those who are less engaged with school, leaving education as soon as possible.

Those most likely to consider a career in ELC are individuals who see themselves as caring, like kids or would like to work with kids. Making a difference to children's lives is important to them and as such many recognise that they would make a good ELC practitioner.

Early Learning and Childcare Recruitment Burst 2: This phase of the campaign aims to target career changers and those wishing to return to work. However, in research, considerable cross-over between the two cohorts resulted in this being an ambiguous way of defining the audience. Thus they have now been segmented into four groups, two of which show the greatest potential to be converted by the campaign:

Parents (primary): Likely to be female and to have children under 11 years old. From a range of socioeconomic backgrounds with a higher proportion in C2D SEGs (52%) 60% aged 18-34 (vs 31% overall) and 34% aged 35-44 (vs 21% overall) 76% married / living with partner (vs 63% overall), mostly working (72%) and in a wide range of jobs. A mix of currently working / maternity leave / stay at home parents. Example current / previous jobs (from qualitative): Chambermaid; Call centre assistant; Leisure centre manager; Admin / clerical.

Careers Seekers (secondary): Likely to be female and mainly pre-family. From a range of socioeconomic backgrounds with a higher proportion in C2D SEGs (53%), 53% aged 18-34 (vs 31% overall) and 31% aged 35-44 (vs 21% overall), 36% single (vs 28% overall). A mix of jobs; may have a current 'job' but want more of a career or are starting a job/ career for the first time. Mix of temporary contractors, freelance, self-employed and casual workers. Closer to changing (from qualitative): Cleaner; Admin assistant; Unemployed; Barista; Shop worker.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top