Macmillan Significantly Increases Awareness with Corrie


Macmillan Cancer Support was performing well for awareness, but understanding of its two core services was low. They wanted to educate ITV viewers that they provide support for both cancer sufferers and their carers. 


Cancer is a difficult subject to discuss. It’s challenging enough to bring it up among friends, let alone explore and engage a mass audience. 


ITV soaps communicate complex, emotional situations on a daily basis. Working closely with our production teams, we identified a forthcoming Coronation Street plot line that tackled issues around cancer. We then created a contextual Macmillan campaign that lived around the show


The plot, featuring Corrie’s Maria and her best friend Marcus, dealt with cancer form the perspective of both sufferer and carer. This provided the perfect backdrop for Macmillan to communicate a complex and sensitive message. By dealing with different parts of the narrative across multiple platforms we were able to give viewers the whole story. 

At the heart of the activation were three contextual spots, filmed at iconic Corrie locations including The Rovers. These included the tagline "Macmillan, we’re with you every step of the way” and played out alongside peaks in the Maria/Marcus storyline.

The partnership continued online, Macmillan sponsored the Corrie section of the ITV Player and ran display inventory around the Corrie e-newsletter and email alert. We also started conversations on social media. Macmillan branded messages were posted to over 200,000 fans on Twitter and massive 1.7 million on facebook!

Use of the Corrie licence meant Macmillan could continue the story within their own communication channels. This included a blog site created by actress Sally Dynevor (Sally Webster) about her personal experience of breast cancer. We even produced co- branded Corrie mugs for Macmillan coffee mornings and signed scripts for Macmillan charity auctions.

The final piece of the partnership was Product Placement, with real Macmillan posters and assets appearing in relevant scenes within the consultation room and the doctor’s surgery. 


  • Maria/Marcus episodes reached 8 million people & 24% of Macmillan's target audience

  • 3.5m display ad impressions

  • Prompted awareness rose from 30% to 45% for those that had seen all three spots*

  • 59% claimed they had learned new information about Macmillian*

  • 28% claimed they were more likely to visit the Macmillan site & 25% claimed they were more likely to donate*