Weetabix and Think Food Bank
Starting a conversation is incredibly important in PR. Two-way dialogue is far more impactful than simply broadcasting to the world. However, the timing of those conversations is crucial otherwise you could end up talking to yourself. Here’s two campaigns that got their timing spot-on and one which missed the mark.
Things got a bit weird on Twitter when Weetabix launched a campaign demonstrating the different ways the breakfast cereal could be enjoyed, including with Marmite, covered in a breakfast smoothie, and with baked beans. Yes, you read that correctly, baked beans.
The meme went viral and led to a barrage of responses from other brands including Nando’s, KFC, Domino’s, Tinder, Ford, and even the NHS.
Why we like it: Entertaining and off-piste content is always a big hit on social media. The genius of this tactic is that instead of reacting to an existing trend, Weetabix created its own. The sense of ‘debatability’ also started a conversation which allowed everyone to join in, giving the brand a human voice that resonated with customers.
It’s easy for corporate social media accounts to fall into the trap of being information-led and a bit bland or, conversely, get too chatty chasing engagement that they lose sight of the bigger picture, but this tactic completely breaks convention in a shareable and entertaining way while reminding everyone of their preferred way of consuming the product. We also love this one because we did a similar thing with a media relations campaign for My Nametags that caused wide debate on the UK’s naughtiest names … not suggesting they were inspired by us or anything..
Think Food Bank
The pandemic has been a hard time for a lot of people and food banks have been feeling the strain, with the Trussell Trust predicting that there would be a 61% increase in food parcels needed across its UK network in the winter months.
Designer Holly Kielty and Maisie Bensonwe took matters into their own hands after meeting on Instagram and launched Think Food Bank, a guerrilla campaign that tackles the lack of reminders for people to pick up extra items for food banks whilst supermarket shopping.
The pair created illustrative stickers featuring fun phrases like ‘Be nice, buy rice twice’, to be stealthily placed on shelves, trolleys, and baskets to draw attention to much needed items, like store cupboard essentials.
Why we like it: PR works in lots of different ways, one being raising awareness. This guerrilla strategy works perfectly at contributing to the dialogue of the importance of food banks with a tactic that gets people involved and builds a community. Moreover, the movement is also putting pressure on supermarkets to be more proactive at encouraging their customers to donate to food banks in stores.
Marmite launched its new limited-edition chilli dynamite flavour with a nationwide billboard campaign featuring flying Marmite lids as a clever play on the fiery flavour, which was supported by a social media campaign aimed to start a conversation.
What to learn: It’s important to note here that this campaign itself isn’t bad, and it isn’t why it makes it as our campaign miss of the month. The visuals are a fun play on the product and the social media activity fully supports the product launch.
However, the timing of the campaign was ill-judged. Marmite launched this campaign the week after the Weetabix campaign, which was incredibly successful, as we previously discussed. Although this campaign is a good example of clever marketing, the timing of its release means it was lost in the shadow of the breakfast cereal and highlights just how critical getting your timing right is. In fairness, agility is not so easy with campaigns of this size and intricacy, but if the brand could have held off for only a few more weeks, this campaign would have had a greater impact.