"You've Earned It" benefit uptake campaign: evaluation report, October 2017

Evaluation report of the "You've Earned It" benefit uptake campaign that ran in October 2017.

“You’ve Earned It”: Benefit Uptake Campaign – October 2017 Evaluation Report


Social Security is a human right and the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that people in Scotland take up all of the support that they are entitled to.

Over the course of 2017, the Scottish Government delivered a programme of activity to increase uptake of social security, by encouraging people to exercise their rights and claim the benefits that are their due.

Central to this was a national marketing campaign that ran in October 2017. The campaign was aimed specifically at those aged 65+ and encouraged them to find out if they are eligible for benefits they’re not currently receiving, and if so, apply for them.

The campaign was carried out in partnership with Citizens Advice Scotland ( CAS), with a campaign helpline set-up for this purpose. People were encouraged to call or visit their local bureau to find out what they may be entitled to and to get help applying.

Advertising appeared on television, national press and bus interiors. It was also supported through media relations and via partnerships with key stakeholders.

The overall campaign budget was £280,000. This includes all strategic and creative development, media buying and PR.


A range of objectives and key performance indicators were set for the campaign, including:

  • Achieve 48% of those aged 65+ across Scotland aware of the ‘You’ve earned it’ campaign
  • A 10 percentage point increase in understanding that they may be entitled to more benefits
  • Achieve 400 calls to the CAS campaign benefits helpline during the campaign period.

Campaign Development & Delivery

Testing with the target audience identified the creative route that was most successful in terms of delivering on the campaign objectives. The creative testing focus groups were attended by those recruited from across the target audience, with specific measures to ensure those with disabilities were represented (see below)

target audience

The key messages for the campaign included:

  • Social security is an investment in everyone and is there to help people when they need it
  • Find out if you’re eligible for the support that you’re entitled to
  • It is estimated that more than half a million (500,000) individuals and families in Scotland are not claiming the benefits they are entitled to
  • Changes in life circumstances and life events mean anybody could need support at some point in their lives
  • Citizens Advice Scotland can provide further information, visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits or call the Citizens Advice Free Benefits Helpline on 0800 085 7145.

Our four core executions were developed and used in national press and on bus panels. It was important to portray those aged 65+ as active, valued members of society with a lot to give to their communities.

Our four core executions were developed and used in national press and on bus panels

A 30-second TV commercial was developed ‘telling the story’ of the 65+ protagonists and allowing the audience to ‘recognise themselves’ and feel encouraged to act and claim what is rightfully theirs. This is available to view on YouTube here.

Details of the campaign media plan are provided below.



% of ad spend


Oct 2nd


Oct 9th


Oct 16th


Oct 23rd


STV, C4 Scotland, ITV Breakfast Scotland



Daily Mail, Daily Record, Scottish Sun, Sunday Mail, Sunday Post


Bus Panels

1,864 x bus passenger panels


A campaign launch took place at Maryhill and Possilpark Citizens Advice Bureau on 2 October 2017 attended by Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman, MSP.

Coverage was generated across key national titles including Daily Record, The Scotsman, The National and BBC Good Morning Scotland, with strong regional coverage both in print and online.

No. articles


National print



National online



Regional print



Regional online









Glasgow Evening Times, 3/10/17, pg10

Glasgow Evening Times, 3/10/17, pg10


Our evaluation process was built around two principal elements:

1. Pre / post campaign tracking survey (Kantar TNS)

2. Benefits Take-Up Campaign: Outcomes Report (Citizens Advice Scotland)

Pre / Post Campaign Tracking Survey

The survey was carried out by an indepentent research agency, Kantar TNS, who used a face-to-face in-home omnibus (Scottish Opinion Survey) as the vehicle for data collection.

This is a representative sample of around 1000 adults who are interviewed each month. Questions related to the campaign were only asked among the target audience of those aged 65+.

Key results included:

  • 48% prompted recognition of the campaign, in line with the target set at the start of the campaign.
  • TV (44%) was the prominent channel driving recognition, followed by press advertising (15%) and bus panels (9%). These figures are consistent with relative campaign spend.
  • At 52% the campaign was more likely to be seen by the key audience of those in the mid / lower socio-economic groupings (C1 and C2DE) – those more likely to be eligible for the majority of benefits.
  • Campaign key messages were well understood. Messages were spontaneously quoted as: Taking action to claim / check (54%), there are benefits / help available (22%) and no need to be embarrassed / you’ve earned it (12%).
  • There was a 5 percentage point increase (13% pre-wave vs 18% post-wave) in those who said they believed they are entitled to more benefits, albeit falling short of the campaign target. However, of those who had seen the campaign, 12% claimed to have taken an action in response to it (without prompting with possible answers).
  • Those who had seen the campaign were considerably more likely than those who hadn’t to agree that there may be other benefits they could claim that would make life easier (36%, vs 25% among those who hadn’t seen it).
  • Knowledge of where to go if you were seeking information on benefits improved considerably, with 21% pre and 33% post naming Citizens Advice Bureau or Citizens Advice Scotland without any prompting.

Benefits Take-Up Campaign: Outcomes Report

Citizens Advice Scotland data shows that:

  • 463 calls to the campaign national helpline were received – 17% over the target of 400 set for the campaign.
  • When callers to the helpline were asked where they had heard about the advice line, responses centred around TV ads (49%) and press ads (48%).
  • There were 44,087 visits to CAS benefits help webpages during the campaign period. For comparative purposes, this is a 27% increase on October 2016, the corresponding month the previous year.

Robust data on the increase in the take-up of benefits due to the campaign is difficult due to the often considerable time lag in the materialisation of the gain in many cases, especially in cases where Attendance Allowance is involved. A bureaux will not record a gain until they are sure the client has been awarded a benefit.

There will also have been other activity taking place which would have an impact, including the delivery of the Financial Health Checks pilot, funded by the Scottish Government.

CAS has said that it is clear that there has been considerable gain in terms of maximising income for those clients who have applied for new benefits since the campaign launched.

As at 20 March 2018, this number is now £152,210.25. The largest increase has been on Attendance Allowance (27%), followed by Pension Credit (18%).

We would expect there to be a higher overall gain with those who will have received financial support that we do not know about, and also expect it to increase further as claims applied for are decided.


If a similar campaign is used in future, the following recommendations should be considered:

  • The media mix of TV, press and bus panels was effective in reaching and communicating with this target audience – and continued use of these media in future for this audience will work well. However maximising the number who see both TV and another medium is vital in supporting direct action.
  • To help generate further action in future, it is important that the name of the organisation to call and the phone number are prominent. Press ads have helped this but other formats that can be retained with the number should also be considered, as should lengthening the end screen in the TV ad.
  • There is still a need to consider how to engender greater engagement. This might be achieved by:
    • Greater focus on individual benefits where take-up is lower
    • Social norming – making use of case studies to achieve this (including those who have already benefitted), though recognising that identifying people willing to be case studies is not easy in this area.
    • Continuing to work closely with local partners and stakeholders to ensure we are engaging with the hardest-to-reach communities.


Overall, this campaign had two overarching aims:

1. Motivating our target audience to take tangible actions to increase benefit uptake, by contacting CAS.

2. Starting to affect a change in attitudes, using specific language to shift perceptions away from the negative connotations often associated with claiming benefits (“scroungers” or “spongers”) to it being about entitlement and fairness.

In regards to the first point, the campaign has worked well, especially in terms of the central call-to-action of contacting CAS, with the number of phone calls over delivering by 17% and website visits increased by 27%. This has led to an increase of uptake of benefits of over £152,000.

We have also seen positive steps forward in relation to changing attitudes, with our key messages well understood and progress in levels believing that they are entitled to more benefits.

However we know that changing perceptions is not something that happens overnight, especially when we were are operating within the challenging context of a gradual move towards increasingly negative media coverage in relation to social security provision.

It is therefore vital that we continue to communicate the core message of entitlement to help meet our long-term objectives of increasing benefit uptake and income maximisation amongst those in Scotland.

The new Social Security agency gives us a great opportunity to try and shift the tone and language in this area to align with the core principles of dignity, fairness and respect.



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