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  • Posts Tagged ‘Tim Mead’

    • Super Bowl, Super Social: The Story Of Yeo Valley

      24th December 10

      Posted by Mel Exon

      Posted in creativity, Cross-platform

      YeoTube, the brand's YouTube channel (never knowingly afraid of a pun).

      It seems every food brand on the planet wants to be “100% natural” these days. In the face of rising ethical consumption, even the unlikeliest of brands – McDonald’s, Muller and Walkers crisps to name a few – are responding and staking a claim. Always outspent in marketing terms, organic food producers – just at the point they should be claiming their day in the sun – face being outpositioned too. If you care about it enough, you only have to Google the term to find out that there are real and significant benefits to sustainably produced organic food, but why bother when even a celebrity chef tells us conventional foods are good enough?

      Ask a mainstream UK audience in a recession-hit early 2010 what they had to say about organic food and the impact of all this showed: top responses included increased scores against “expensive”, “worthy” and “a bit dull”.

      By contrast, when a team of us met Tim Mead (whose family started making dairy products under the Yeo Valley name in 1974) in March this year, two things were striking:

      1. His approach: an unapologetic marriage of entrepreneurialism and down-to-earth common sense. An organic farmer for the 21st century if there ever was one.

      2. Their vision: Tim and his mother, Mary Mead, believe organic, sustainably produced food should be accessible to everyone.  Philosophically and practically it’s a virtuous circle: the more people eat sustainably produced food, the better it is for all of us and the planet. But “accessible to everyone” demands prices that are competitive to conventional products and that in turn makes a volume-based strategy for Yeo Valley both an economic possibility AND an absolute necessity, if the company is to prosper.

      Which was where they saw a role for marketing: to drive demand amongst a necessarily broader, more mainstream audience, along the way helping people to remember Yeo Valley’s name and what it stands for – not least the fact it’s a real place in the West Country.

      Our strategy was simple: tackle the perception issue head-on by reversing the expectations of how an organic brand should behave amongst a mainstream UK audience. Goodbye: worthy and earnest. Hello: open and social, populist and proud.

      For more on the anatomy of our approach take a look below. First up, some results and what we’ve learned so far. It’s still very early days and we’ve resisted writing about this until we had some (hot off the press) commercial data. We’ll have more substantive conclusions once we’re further in, but here’s what we know for now:

      - Furthermore, Yeo Valley spontaneous awareness as a dairy brand had more than doubled just 2 weekends in to the campaign (7% to 15%). Source: Nursery brand tracker

      - Of the online mentions since launch in October an average week records a 94.9% favourable sentiment score – fuelled no doubt by over 550 blogposts and the odd celebrity tweetSource: Sysomos sentiment analysis


      10 THINGS WE’VE LEARNT

      Perhaps few surprises here, but at the very least a strong reinforcement of some evolutionary truths about modern fmcg marketing:

      1. Be true to the people who live the brand, not the perception. In this case, organic brands don’t have to wear sandals.
      2. Broadcast can still play a crucial role. If you want to reach a discrete audience (cf Marmarati or Stella Artois Black’s Night Chauffeur) it may be far from necessary, however if your task is mass appeal and you deliberately want to make a public statement about your brand, then broadcast is hard to beat. The trick for Yeo Valley in this respect was three-fold (points 3, 4 and 5 below):
      3. Strategy is the art of sacrifice. There wasn’t a huge marketing budget to blow. In terms of bought media, instead of attempting to be everywhere, we brokered an exclusive deal with ITV and Fremantle around X Factor and went big with it. One 2 minute spot, first ad in the first break of the UK’s TV biggest show would, we hoped, act as a rocket launcher for the brand. Subsequently, an on-pack promotion and a mix of shorter time length ads appeared, only ever in X Factor on ITV1, ITV2 and itv.com.
      4. Super bowl, super social: we began the process believing the answer did not lie in choosing between social and broadcast, but in committing to both wholeheartedly. To borrow @willsh’s analogy, ‘fireworks bring you to the brand, you stay for the warming fire’. In Yeo Valley’s case, this meant live event TV every weekend, with an ongoing bedrock of conversation and additional content on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube which extends, deepens and personalizes the brand’s relationship with new customers.
      5. As we’ve said before, it’s not about now, it’s about the trajectory. The basics of the brand’s behaviour and presence online were laid down months before the TV ad launch and will continue long after; amongst other things getting to know like-minded bloggers, who came to Yeo Valley over the summer to see for themselves how a sustainable dairy farm is run.
      6. Reward the fans – by recognising the very best remixes and spotting what they like and giving them more (in our case, letting Ted the owl take over @yeovalley for a day on Twitter and produce his own edit).
      7. If you can, change the rules of a category. Quite simply, the conversation around Yeo Valley was fuelled by content and behaviour that caught people’s imagination in a surprising way. A brand trending on Twitter a few days in a row may not be a result in itself, but since the sentiment stayed largely favourable, it gave us a useful indicator of early impact and most importantly where earned media could come from.
      8. Haters gonna hate? Maybe, maybe not. Sure, some criticism should be ignored, but we’ve gained a lot more by listening, taking a deep breath and responding.
      9. Have an organising thought that can cross platforms and time. “Live in Harmony” sums up Yeo Valley’s world view and also gives the brand and its audience the licence to have some fun with music over time, even playing with the sounds of the farm itself: YouTube Preview Image
      10. Brands that get better under scrutiny, not worse, will win in social environments online. With Yeo Valley this was never a problem. But it’s worth thinking beyond your carefully planned editorial calendar: what are the issues and opportunities that just *might* arise?

      THE ANATOMY OF ‘LIVE IN HARMONY’ TO DATE

      The engagement plan set out to splice bought, earned and owned media. It was necessarily quite complex – this is the simple version:


      If you’d like to find out more drop us a comment here, check out the brand’s website or YeoTube for more Yeo Valley videos. These include a Making Of together with a series of films featuring Tim & Mary Mead, each offering a window on Yeo Valley as a real place in the West Country (one example below):

      YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

      Finally, look out for “Farmony“, our Yeo Valley online game teaching kids how to run a sustainable farm, launching in early 2011.

      CREDITS

      Yeo Valley:
      Tim Mead, Managing Director
      Adrian Carne, Commercial Director
      Ben Cull, Head of Brands
      Alison Sudbury, Marketing Manager
      Niki Martini, Assistant Brand Manager
      Sally Laurie, Customer Services Manager

      BBH:
      Rosie Arnold, Deputy Exec Creative Director
      Kevin Brown, Director of Engagement Planning
      Mel Exon, Strategic Business Lead

      Simon Pearse and Emmanuel Saint M’Leux, creative team
      Eric Chia, Digital Creative Lead
      Glenn Paton, Producer

      Mark Whiteside, Team Director
      Simeon Adams, Strategist
      Lawrence Kao, Strategist
      Jim Hunt, Head of Technology
      Craig Dodd, Tech Lead
      Ebla Salvi, Digital Team Manager
      Josie Robinson, Team Manager
      Sarah Barclay, Digital Project Manager
      Daniele Orner-Ginor, Digital Intelligence
      Emile Doxey, Data Analyst
      David Pandit, Head of Data
      Richard Helyar, Knowledge & Insight
      Rebecca Levy, Team Assistant

      PR: Bell Pottinger
      Richard Moss, Director (PR Planning)
      Kate Griffiths, Account Director
      Jacquelyn Redpath, Account Manager

      Brand identity redesign: Pearl Fisher
      Tess Wickstead, Planning Director
      Natalie Chung, Creative Director
      Matt Small, Client Services Director
      Michael Dye, Senior Account Manager
      Henry Leeson, Head of Realisation

      TV Production Company: Flynn
      Julien Lutz, Director
      Emma Butterworth, Producer
      Alex Barber, DoP

      Post Production: Framestore
      Editing: Steve Ackroyd at Final Cut
      Sound: 750mph
      Exposure: TV, UK