Creative in association withGear Seven
Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award Tackle Bullying in UK Schools with ‘The Power of Words'
Advertising Agency
London, UK
New spot from VCCP celebrates Nationwide’s landmark three-year partnership with The Diana Award pledging to train 10,000 anti-bullying ambassadors

Nationwide Building Society is today launching its latest campaign ‘The power of words’, which aims to tackle bullying in schools across the UK. The new TV film aims to raise awareness of its landmark three-year partnership with The Diana Award, and demonstrate how the partnership will introduce 10,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors to schools in the UK over the next three years. Devised by agency of record, VCCP London, ‘The power of words’ seeks to communicate the importance of mutual respect in society, with a focus on bullying in primary schools. 

Nationwide was founded with social purpose, and its commitment to supporting its members and society hasn’t changed. Research carried out by Censuswide in 2021 found that a shocking 24,000 children miss school each day due to bullying. Nationwide’s partnership with The Diana Award will help to drive awareness for the polemic issues as well as result in tangible help. The Diana Award advocates for peer-to-peer support, and an extra 10,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are being trained in over 660 primary schools up and down the UK, so more children have someone they can talk to. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, who are school children themselves, will receive training on how to spot bullying, speak out and support those who face challenging circumstances at school. 

The new film will debut on TV with a hero 60-second spot during the Stand Up 2 Cancer Bake Off. The thought-provoking film is set in a primary school assembly hall, and features school children as they enter and exit the main stage to discuss their own experience of bullying.

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award said: “It’s more important than ever to ensure school is safe and free from harmful bullying behaviour. Thanks to our partnership with Nationwide Building Society, we’re training 10,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in primary schools across the UK over the next three years. We know this peer-to-peer approach works and these young ambassadors are already changing behaviours and shaping attitudes by sending a clear message that bullying isn’t acceptable.”

Aligning with Nationwide’s ambitions to raise awareness for societal messages authentically, the new TV film showcases real-life stories from school children who have all suffered from bullying. Nationwide is passionate about encouraging more respectful behaviour at a grassroots societal level, and the new 

film show’s Nationwide’s commitment to positively impacting the day-to-day interactions and behaviour of children in school. 

Sara Bennison, Nationwide Chief Product and Marketing Officer said: “It is heartbreaking to hear from children who have had their lives blighted by bullying. As a mutual organisation, we have a particular interest in fostering greater mutual respect to build a better society where diversity and difference are celebrated. The Diana Award team have made some inspirational strides to put an end to bullying and we hope our support can mean that many more children can be protected. Thanks to VCCP for handling our new campaign with care and for producing a really important film which translates what our partnership with The Diana Award is all about.”

The new film will debut on TV with a hero 60” spot during the Stand Up 2 Cancer Bake Off. The thought-provoking film is set in a primary school assembly hall, and features school children as they enter and exit the main stage to discuss their own experience of bullying.

As Britain’s biggest building society, Nationwide has always focused on its customer voices, and its latest film ‘The power of words’ is no different. The film is set against the backdrop of sombre music, and narrated by school children themselves. Their stories have been rearranged into a beautiful poem with the help of British poet Mike Garry, in a process referred to as ‘found poetry.’ Garry was instrumental in Nationwide’s ‘Lessons from The Game’ campaign with The FA Respect Programme which launched last summer. As the children candidly talk about how their experience improved with the help of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, the music begins to build to a more positive beat, finally drawing to a close with all the children assembled together laughing and joking. The poignant film concludes with Nationwide sharing hard hitting facts on bullying in UK schools, and concludes with the announcement that Nationwide, together with The Diana Award is placing 10,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in schools so children have someone they can talk to. 

Laura Muse, Creative Director at VCCP London added: "We can all relate to the feeling of loneliness that bullying leaves us with. But it’s amazing how quickly that eases just with someone to talk to. Someone that understands you. So sharing the children's stories, and supporting The Diana Award, is the very essence of what being a mutual organisation is all about. The partnership and the “voices” approach were a perfect fit and reinforce why we love working with Nationwide. They’re a brand with doing what’s right at the heart of everything they do." 

Mutual respect is a core brand value for Nationwide, and ‘The power of words’ campaign showcases that Nationwide cares deeply about the needs of its 15 million members and their children. Following a Nationwide survey which found that 71% of the UK feel that levels of respect in society have declined in the last few years,  Nationwide is committed to working with other organisations, such as The Diana Award to create a more caring and mutually respectful society, in all walks of life.

To date, over 35,000 young people have been trained as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in 4,000 schools throughout the UK and Ireland by The Diana Award. This network of young people develop and share best practices and have been trained to provide ongoing peer support to their cohort. 

Nationwide’s latest brand campaign ‘The power of words’ is live today and will roll out across TV and social. All media has been planned and executed by Wavemaker. 

For more information and to get involved visit the Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme website. 

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