A hero campaign for Billington’s Sugar – “First Time”

Activating your existing audience or drawing new attention can feel challenging as a heritage brand. Whether you need to break down perception, launch a new product or simply maintain household penetration, brands need to continue to be bold with ideas and thumb-stopping with creative.

Billington’s Sugar discovered through customer feedback that once an individual tried their products, be that in a brownie, coffee, BBQ sauce or sprinkled on their porridge, they simply won’t use anything else… what an incredible statement! And without a doubt, one they wanted to share.

Aiming also to showcase their full range of sugars to drive trial, and supported by some delicious celebrity chefs and bakers, the brand marketers shared their hopes with us, following our successful Barista Sugars campaign.

Crafting the campaign

Having learned so much about what makes Billington’s such a great product (the unique richness comes from locking in natural molasses) in the previous campaign, our hero influencers would be charged with recalling the first time they used Billington’s in an interview and sharing their favourite recipe in the campaign. To be memorable enough to impact the shopper’s basket, we needed to tap into the emotion:

Wow, if it’s that good, I’ve GOT to try it!

In case you live under a rock, cooking and baking are HUGE on social – we needed to cut through the noise with high-quality, tempting content reflecting the brand. Amplification through paid social would be essential. As baking chatter peaks during Autumn in the UK with the Great British Bake Off continuing to engage TV audiences, the timeline proposed to us in early August was to shoot and share by mid-October, squeezing the planning and subsequent editing into just a few weeks.

Ensuring the celebrity chefs and bakers were chosen, and briefed with the premium nature of the brand in mind, we also set about aligning the influencers with key personas:

  • First Timers – a true GBBO audience, open to discovering new flavours and baking something special for friends and family
    • Aligned with: Benjamina Ebhuehi, GBBO finalist in 2016
  • Traditionalists – already aware of Billington’s and understand they can rely on the brand; we can remind them of the product range
    • Aligned with: The Hairy Bikers – Si King and Dave Myers, national treasures, at this point.
  • Gastronomers – confident foodies looking to impress, more likely to be excited by experimental cuisine
    • Aligned to: Lily Vanilli, one of the UK’s premier cake makers, and Paul A Young, a ground-breaking chocolatier
Benjamina Ebhuehi
The Hairy Bikers
Lily Vanilli
Paul A Young

During the planning stages, we worked closely with the client team to brief the talent and discuss the most appropriate recipe which could be featured in the video, appealing to the target audiences.

Heading straight into pre-production, we organised the shoot location, incidentals, and scripts, while simultaneously crafting copy lines, visual identities for the series, and a paid media plan, tailoring the anticipated output to our key personas.

Savouring the spoils

Aiming to raise awareness and offer a free sample link, a 4-week campaign, just after the final of GBBO, launched into Facebook & Instagram.

Tactically, we were able to create a broad audience of foodies to prospect to, as well as remarketing the engaged audience from the Barista Sugars campaign.

Initially sharing long-form interview and recipe videos and reaching c. 3m users, we followed up with a second period of remarketing, sharing multiple short-form clips driving users to register for a free sample.

Take a look at our tasty results:

Fancy a peek at the campaign content?

Benjamina Ebhuehi
The Hairy Bikers
Paul A Young
Lily Vanilli

Could we do this for you?