Caitlin Moran looms out of a moon cup for SEUK's 2019 Buy Social campaign

Hollywood actor Michael Sheen and writer Caitlin Moran are among four celebrities looming out of social enterprise products in supermarket chain Co-op from the start of October. By downloading an app and then scanning social enterprise beer, soaps and period products, customers will see films of the celebrities explaining the difference they make if they ‘buy social’. 

Sheen and Moran are accompanied by comedian Chris Addison and beauty journalist Sali Hughes in the ‘Buy Social for a Better World’ campaign, spearheaded by Social Enterprise UK.

The four will all appear – through ‘augmented reality’ tech and the Zappar app – on the packaging of Brewgooder lager, Hey Girls period products, Toast Ale and Beco soaps.

Moran, for example, can be seen standing inside a menstrual cup saying: “Wherever you see the ‘buy social’ badge, you know it’s a business designed to be kind.”

The campaign runs from 7-12 October, although the products are available in Co-op stores from the start of this month. All the celebrities gave their time free and the campaign is supported by the Co-op and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Social enterprises are the future of business – they are growing right across our economy and scaling quickly, creating outstanding products whilst doing what’s right for people and planet.”

He added that social enterprises need consumers’ support to succeed. “Consumers have real power and social enterprises can only create impact if people continue to buy from them.”

Social enterprises can only create impact if people continue to buy from them

This year’s campaign replaces ‘Social Saturday’ which ran for five years from 2014 (when it was launched by former civil society minister Brooks Newmark) until 2018. 

Fiona Young, SEUK’s director of marketing and member engagement, told Pioneers Post that although last year’s Social Saturday campaign had a digital reach of 5m people, SEUK’s members wanted a new approach for 2019. The campaign was revised and this year focuses more on online activity rather than the events of previous years, although SEUK is also writing to MPs to encourage them to visit local social enterprises.

Young added that this year’s campaign aimed to better the previous digital reach, gain more media coverage than in the past and increase sales for the participating products. 

• For more about the campaign, see the Social Enterprise UK website and follow #BuySocial on social media. For social enterprises which want to get involved in the campaign, click here.