Scotland's Outlook

We worked in partnership with Scotland’s charities to raise awareness of the scale and impact of poverty in Scotland, making best use of a shoestring budget to engage with 100,000 people in a month.

  • Campaigns
  • Digital & Mobile

Confronting the crisis

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Many members were noticing a significant increase in poverty in Scotland, however the general public seemed to have low awareness of the scale and impact of the problem.

With a sixth of people living in Scotland unable to afford to heat their homes in winter and a fifth of children in Scotland officially living below the breadline, the charities united behind the ‘Scotland’s Outlook’ campaign to shine a light on the poverty crisis in our communities.

Overcoming a poor grasp of the issues

Launching in March 2014 on a shoestring budget, with no allocation for media spend, the brief was to create a high impact, sharable communication that would get people angry and active in the fight against poverty in Scotland.

Poverty is an abstract concept that people can easily disengage with if they think it’s not relevant to them. We used humour to communicate the message more effectively with a funny but hard-hitting weather report spoof. Fictional cheery forecaster Kenny McCloud lost it during his debut broadcast, with his face turning from sunny to thunderous as he reported levels of widespread poverty in Scotland.

We chose the weather theme as it's a metaphor that people are generally comfortable with. It is engaging and non-threatening, but still gave us scope to use humour to create real impact, whilst being relevant Scotland-wide. It has the potential for further creative stretch in future campaign phases.

Iain Valentine


Building depth and reach

Whitespace also built a campaign site,, with interactives for users to learn more about the issues, test their knowledge, share information and take action, which delivered an overall engagement rate of 21%.

SCVO’s communications team developed a PR and social media strategy and seeded the content through its and partners’ networks, achieving wide media coverage in the BBC, STV, The Metro as well as The Daily Record and others.

The results

Media coverage reach


Video views

over 100k

Population aware of the campaign


Increase in those who view the situation as unacceptable


What the client said

“Producing an effective campaign for such a complex issue is a challenge at the best of times, so we are happy with how successfully the campaign cost effectively reached so many people by merging a great creative concept and technical delivery from Whitespace with real insights from our charity partners, Alzheimer Scotland, Child Poverty Action Group, CHAS, MacMillan, Oxfam, Poverty Alliance and Shelter Scotland.”

Ann Rowe, Head of Marketing & Communications, SCVO

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