Gousto aims to make recipe boxes ‘the UK’s favourite way to eat dinner’
Recipe box subscription brand has made major investments in technology to help it deliver improved choice and delivery options, brand director says.
Gousto, the UK-based recipe box delivery service, is kicking off a £3m brand campaign, two months after securing a £30m cash injection that brand director Anna Greene said is helping the business scale its technology and transform its offer to consumers.
The push, “Give it some Gousto”, is the second ad createed by M&C Saatchi and with media agency the7stars, both of which were appointed last year.
It features a main brand TV spot, which will run for nine weeks from Sunday evening (1 September), supported by direct response TV ads and additional video created for social media, as well as partnerships with three brand ambassadors, Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka on social), Simon Hooper (Father of Daughters), and Joe Wicks (The Body Coach), who is also an investor in Gousto.
The campaign was created by Charli Plant and Laura Saraiva, and directed by Favourite Colour Black through Park Village.
Speaking to Campaign, Greene said that while Gousto had grown sales 70% in the last year – overtaking its chief competitor, Hello Fresh, in the process – and was now delivering 2.5 million meals a month, the first priority of the campaign was growing awareness and consideration, with three quarters of UK adults not yet aware of the brand, while “around half of the UK still don’t fully understand what a recipe box is”.
While this situation means there is still work to do to educate consumers on how recipe boxes work, Greene said Gousto’s growth meant that to maximise its potential, it now needed to be able to communicate its promised emotional benefits: cutting out the pain and hassle of shopping and planning meals, and reacquainting people with the joys of cooking.
“This year we really wanted to take it up a notch,” Greene said, describing the thinking behind the campaign. “We wanted to demonstrate how we can improve everything from top to bottom. We’re on a mission to be the UK’s most loved way of eating dinner.”
The creative, which uses visual motifs related to cooking such as chopping with a knife to move between shots, was intended to be visually arresting, but also was “quite a disruptive and destructive device to contrast between old and new,” Greene said.
The booming recipe boxes sector is packed with competitors – along with Berlin-based HelloFresh, which in 2017 topped the Financial Times ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, there are several with a more targeted approach, such as the gluten and dairy-free, low carb Mindful Chef; fresh pasta specialist Pasta Evangelists; and Simply Cook, which leaves out the fresh ingredients but comes in a package that fits through a letterbox.
Gousto lacks a key identifying characteristic of this sort, but stands out because of its superior technology, Greened claimed. This had allowed it to offer 50 recipes to choose from each week, double the number offered by Hello Fresh, to bring prices down, and to offer delivery seven days a week at a wider range of timeslots.
The big challenge for Gousto, and the sector as a whole, is that most people’s usual shopping, cooking and eating habits are very well established, Greene said.
“We recognise it’s a huge behaviour change we’re trying to create here. People are so used to shopping in supermarkets or online, there’s years of entrenched behaviours.” This means Gousto needs to “give them really compelling reasons and motivating them to give it a try – that’s a more powerful way to look at the sector”.
In an age where social media is the most popular commercial media channel for 16-34s, brands are faced with the question of how best to utilise this virtual shop window. Working with content creators themselves and ‘Insta celebs’ seems the obvious solution; however online influencing takes many shapes and sizes and will become even more difficult to navigate as Instagram introduces hidden likes. With the disappearance of familiar visible metrics, there may be an uncertainty over the tangible reach and engagement that individual influencers can offer.
Lia Haberman, formerly VP Audience Development at Livestrong, predicts “this will likely increase the amount of ads as brands look for more exposure and make it difficult for anyone but established influencers to get a foot-hold.” Brands that have worked with Mrs Hinch, the UK’s biggest ‘cleanfluencer’ with over 2.5 million followers, attribute significant results to this macro influencer; Unilever claims that the sales of Cif Stainless Steel have grown by two thirds following Mrs Hinch’s backing.
Some influencers have such large followings that they don’t need to associate themselves with other brands, but instead can sell their own products to a ready-made audience. As a result of the online following she has built, influencer Grace Beverley, has been able to extend her own personal brand out into not one, but two companies (TALA sustainable activewear and B_ND vegan gym equipment).
From seeing these results, it comes as no surprise that consumers are more open to being sold products by their favourite personalities. Our quarterly proprietary tracker, the QT, revealed that 62% of 18-24s prefer product placement over traditional ads, with 24% even enjoying social influencers’ recommendations. Although it seems there is a mediator: authenticity. The absence of which prevents transfer of trust for influencer to brand. Perhaps this is where the micro influencer (someone with a 10k to 100k following) shines – working on partnerships with brands who can benefit from this intimacy that accompanies a loyal following of friends and family. The likes of Glossier have grown their brands in this way.
For influencers, it is important to pick partners with which they genuinely identify, to keep their relationship with followers authentic. For brands, it is a question of which growth strategy is best for them: mass exposure from association with a big name or loyal customers from an influencer with a smaller, yet potentially more engaged, audience.
(3) The rise of micro-influencers and why they are important, WARC February 2019
It’s safe to say that Brits have had an eventful Summer. July saw the hottest temperature on record, a controversial new Prime Minister entered number 10 and it was also an exciting season for sports fans. As the autumn quickly approaches, we partnered with our friends at mobile research panel OnePulse to ask Brits how they feel now they’re faced with the reality of colder weather and shorter days.
What is clear is that how you frame the question is crucial to the response. Brits are sadder about the end of the summer than the idea of autumn coming. It’s the finality of the season change, rather than the season itself with which they’ve taken their umbrage.
One group for whom autumn couldn’t come quick enough is parents. A quarter of parents with primary school age children feel exhausted after the summer, and its particularly mums feeling the brunt. The same proportion treat September as the start of a new year, and see it as an opportunity to get some much-needed life admin done.
They’re not alone in this. The 16-24 group are the cohort most likely to make big life choices in September, with 29% saying they do so, and 23% saying actively treat it like a new year. With the ‘back to school’ mentality still fresh in their minds, it’s no surprise. But what are Brits trying to achieve?
Finance is Brits’ number one priority for September, with 47% of those asked saying they are looking to save some money this month. This is followed by weight loss ambitions, and giving their home a (counterintuitive) spring clean, at 35% each.
For older Brits, perhaps enjoying the kids or grandkids finally being out of the house, it’s a welcome opportunity to flex their DIY muscles, and 39% of this group are taking September as their opportunity to improve their home.
For parents, it could be about motivating them to do what they’ve been putting off as exhaustion fades, like spring cleaning or DIY. For those without children, it could be about starting the new year as they mean to go on; reinventing their careers or simply having more date nights.
Parent or not, it is clear that September is about getting back to reality and the desire to get some ‘me-time’ back shouldn’t be ignored.
There’s so much more to the autumn than ‘Back to School,’ and it’s clear that Brits have a new energy about them, ready to re-set for the coming season. Brands should see this as an opportunity to celebrate self-indulgence, and encourage us to celebrate ourselves!
Everyone is listening to podcasts. Well, not quite everyone, but the latest RAJAR data revealed that 12% of UK adults listen to a podcast weekly. While this figure may not initially appear particularly high, when contextualised it reveals there has been a dramatic growth in podcast popularity. This 12% represents approximately 6.5 million adults, a twofold increase on the 3.2 million who were listening back in 2013.
This boom has been recognised by the podcast producers, too, with Spotify recently announcing that it would be investing up to $500m in the production of their top podcasts. These figures suggest that the upwards trend in podcast popularity is set to continue, therefore opening up an exciting new avenue for advertisers to reach their audiences.
One of the most important reasons as to why podcasts can become a vital media for advertisers is the age demographic most connected with podcasts. The growth of podcasts appears to have been driven by young listeners, with 16% of 15-24 year-olds and 21% of 25-34 year-olds saying they are weekly podcast listeners. Considering how challenging it can be to engage with a younger audience, this represents one medium through which 16-34 year-olds can be consistently reached.
Further, the nature of podcast listening means the listener is fully immersed in the content they are listening to. Whether it’s when travelling, relaxing or exercising, 90% of listeners said they listen to podcasts on their own, with two-thirds of respondents saying they always listen to the entirety of the episode. This sense of immersion in the podcast experience can be seen as similar to being in a cinema, and again allows advertisers to reach an audience in an environment where they are unlikely to skip forward through the podcast.
So, as Monday 30th September is International Podcast Day, it’s time to find a good podcast and start thinking about how their inclusion in media plans can really help advertisers engage their target audiences through an increasingly popular media.
RAJAR MIDAS Audio Survey (Winter 2018) https://www.rajar.co.uk/docs/news/MIDAS_Winter_2018.pdf?utm_source=podnews.net&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=podnews.net:2019-01-21
OFCOM: Podcast Listening Boom in the UK (2018) https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2018/uk-podcast-listening-booms
The Guardian: “Podcasting’s Netflix moment: the global battle for domination” https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/mar/30/podcastings-netflix-moment-the-global-battle-for-domination
Many of us will be familiar with the satisfaction of watching the daily step count rack up on our smartphones and smart devices. Our obsession with tracking fitness data has grown in the past few years, with over a third of British adults now interested in using fitness tracking apps (and two thirds of Millennials).1 What’s with the sudden surge in interest?
Several factors are driving the popularity of fitness tracking apps – they are cheaper than a gym, they help hold us accountable to goals we’ve set and quantify our progress. However the key appears to lie in the social aspect of these apps. A 2017 study found that receiving social feedback encourages users to increase their interaction on a platform.2 Strava is a prime example of how this is driving people to fitness apps; people are eight times more likely to receive feedback (in the form of ‘kudos’) on their Strava activities than they are on Twitter, keeping them coming back for more.
Strava’s CEO, James Quarles, (a former employee of Instagram and Facebook) has recognised the importance of social interactions in driving new users to the app and has been harnessing this since he joined in 2017. He re-oriented the app around its social feed with a new feature called ‘Athletes Posts’, allowing people to share photos, stories, race reports or questions. This encourages people to check their feed for friends’ updates multiple times a day, similar to how they would with Instagram. The strategy appears to be working for Strava, now with 46 million global users and another million joining every month.3
It’s not just runners and cyclists who are migrating their hobbies from real-world to digital communities. Enter Wattpad, dubbed the ‘Instagram for writers’. The social writing platform allows amateur authors to create, share and like original stories, reading lists and personal profiles with other writers.
Will the growth of these and other niche social networks ever be enough to rival the likes of Facebook or Instagram? Perhaps not, but brands should take note of the changing way that consumers are engaging with their passion points; getting involved in an interest group is not just about joining a few others in a closed-doors discussion, but about partaking in performative and competitive global networks.
1 ‘Prediction: who will use gamified exercise apps by 2025?’, Foresight Factory, July 2019 [Available at https://ffonline.foresightfactory.co/content/prediction-who-will-use-gamified-exercise-apps-by-2025?search=372158]
2 Lindsey, Joe, ‘Why Strava Is Getting More Social Than Ever’, Outside Online, June 2019 [Available at https://www.outsideonline.com/2395489/strava-james-quarles].
3 ‘The Why Factor’, BBC, January 2019 [Available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cswrl5]
Some brand mascots have been around for well over 100 years, although a few may have had a facelift. They’re a great way of bringing brands to life and making advertising more memorable. With that being said, there has been a steady decrease in brands using mascots – are brands missing a trick here?
Mascots are generally used as a way for people to differentiate and recognise not only brands, but also groups or organisations. It is also a great way to humanise a brand and allow big corporate brands to drive awareness. Studies have shown that having a brand mascot doesn’t just boost recognition, but also boosts market share by 37%.
Brand mascots that are most distinctive are proven to be most effective. Gio Compario, the Go Compare opera singer, has been encouraging us to compare insurance deals to save our money for a staggering 10 years now. However, a mascot this prominent doesn’t come without its critics, and Go Compare’s Gio was labelled the most annoying man on British TV, as well as being the most complained about ad in 2012. In spite of this, Gio creates cut through in a crowded market; Go Compare has been crowned most recognised insurance brand, proving even more effective than the 2 furry little mascots for Compare the Market.
Newer brands are also adopting mascots as a way to break into the market. One brand who has taken theirs to the next level is Hinge. They’ve used a mascot to not only increase brand recognition, but also to drive their message forward in a unique and unexpected way. Their cuddly character, Hingie, who usually acts as a fly on the wall during dates, eventually gets killed off in their ad campaigns once the couple have deleted the app. This drives a powerful message that Hinge isn’t meant to stay with you forever if you’ve successfully found love, which is what their app is set out to do.
In a world where it is becoming even harder for brands to connect with their audience, creating a brand mascot is a great way for consumers to remember and relate to brands. In addition, brands should not fear the unknown when making a brand mascot; if Gio Compario still sings on, then there is hope for all.