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Cadbury and Manchester United Shine a Light on Loneliness

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11 guests of honour were invited to the football pitch ahead of kick off as part of Cadbury's 'donate your words campaign'

Cadbury and Manchester United Shine a Light on Loneliness
As part of the recently announced partnership with Mondelez, Cadbury and Manchester United have today teamed up to promote Cadbury’s ‘donate your words’ campaign in support of Age UK, which highlights the issues of loneliness amongst Britain’s older generation. 11 ‘Guests of Honour’ stood on the iconic Old Trafford pitch and shook hands with Manchester United’s first team ahead of their match against Watford.

The Guests of Honour are all locals aged 61-87 and are dedicated Manchester United fans who have benefitted from their local Age UK charity, which help tackle issues such as loneliness. The touching moment, which saw the guests step out in front of a crowd of 75,000 fans, serves as a reminder of the issue of loneliness which affects hundreds of thousands of older people living within Britain’s communities, and aims to inspire people to ‘donate your words’ by having a conversation with an older person. 

Cadbury believes there is a glass and half of generosity and kindness in everyone. For Manchester United, a club where being part of the local community is a core value, this struck a chord. As a result, the club is supporting Cadbury’s ‘donate your words’ campaign in a bid to encourage fans and nation to ‘donate their words’ and make a difference to the lives of older people.

The campaign comes following recent research, conducted by Cadbury and Age UK, which revealed that in a typical week, almost 2.6 million people aged 65 and over speak to three or fewer people they know, with more than 225,000 often going a week without speaking to anyone at all.

The survey found that simple, small gestures can play a part in helping to tackle loneliness as over six million older people claimed a few minutes of conversation would make a huge difference to their week. Older people said they would feel more confident when outside the home if someone smiles or says hello when at a bus stop or in a queue, or if someone asks how their day has gone. 

Colin O’Toole, associate marketing director at Cadbury said: “We’re proud to announce this partnership with Manchester United and to continue supporting Age UK with our ‘donate your words’ campaign. Loneliness is such a huge problem amongst the older generation, and we are encouraging Manchester United fans and the nation at large to engage with this cause by donating their words at every opportunity to lonely older people in their communities. We are also excited to be working with Manchester United in the future on further collaborations.”

Sean Jefferson, director of partnerships for manchester United said: “We’re pleased to start our global partnership with Cadbury by supporting their ‘donate your words’ campaign. The Club is encouraging all fans to give a few moments of their time to speak to older people around them who might welcome a thoughtful conversation. Any small gesture and interaction can play a part in helping to help tackle loneliness amongst our older generation.”

Darren Bailes, executive creative director at VCCP said: “There’s a lonliness crisis in the UK; 1.4 million older people struggle with it. 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. We have already done so much to raise the issue and change behaviours and attitudes towards loneliness. We hope this partnership with Manchester United will help raise awareness for Cadbury’s ‘donate your words’ campaign and get more people engaging with Age UK.”

For more information about the campaign and to get involved either visit or search ‘donate your words.’

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Official Title: 'Donate your words' x Manchester United 


Creative agency: VCCP

Executive Creative Director: Darren Bailes

Creative Directors: Chris Birch and Jonny Parker

Art Director: Rob Ellis 

Copywriter: Peter Reid 

Business Director: Matt Smith

Senior Account Director: Gen Hole

Account Manager: Matt Reed

Senior Planner: Hannah Martin 

Creative Producer: Ben Waters 


Production Company: VCCP Kin

Executive producer: Greta Wynn Davies 

Producers: Terri Wood

Post Prodcution

Post Production: Kin Post

Project Manager: Joe Fathers


Audio: Jonny Platt @ Wave Studios

Director: Michelle Coomber


Colourist: Kai Van Beers @ nineteentwenty

Media Agency

Media agency: Carat

PR agency: Golin

Sponsorship agency: MKTG

Categories: Awareness, Corporate, Social and PSAs

VCCP, Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:08:57 GMT