Sainsbury's Promo, Case study (movie) NEVER MIND THE POLLACKS by Havas Sports & Entertainment London

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Industry Retail, Distribution & Rental companies, Supermarkets
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Havas Sports & Entertainment London
Creative Director Mark Whelan
Released June 2010


Cannes Lions 2010
PR Lions - Silver

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Sectors & Services
Category: Retail and E-commerce, including Restaurants
Advertiser: SAINSBURY'S
Product/Service: SUPERMARKET
Creative Director: Mark Whelan (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Managing Partner: Chris Wood (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Managing Partner: Jim Dowling (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Board & Client Director: Davnet Doran (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Media Strategist: Jodie Butt (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Senior Account Executive: James Duffy (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Account Executive: Sara Lincoln (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Head Of Branded Content: Greg James (Cake (Havas Sports & Entertainment))
Describe the campaign/entry:
We were tasked with raising awareness of Sainsbury’s best practice in sustainable sourcing,and identified a key insight around its fishing practice;sourcing fish responsibly and respecting the environment.
We discovered that Sainsbury’s are the largest retail of pollack,a more sustainable alternative to the over fished cod,but that pollack was actually quite unpopular with customers.We quizzed the fish specialists on this and discovered that there was little customer awareness on how to cook it or what it tasted like in comparison to the more popular cod;and that it’s slightly embarrassing sounding name was also a barrier to purchase.
The solution? A complete fish based re-brand from the down-market ‘pollack’ to the more appealing Francophile ‘Colan’,or Colin as it’s pronounced in English. Playing to a media appetite for ‘British culture’ stories, we played upon the well-known British reserve, claiming customers felt uncomfortable ordering pollack because of the innuendo in the name.
Re-branding, re-packaging and re-launching the fish to UK media and consumers led to a 68% increase in sales and 350 pieces of UK media coverage,including The Guardian front page,and an 87:1 return on investment.Four months later, pollack secured a place in the top ten selling fish in the UK thanks in some part to the campaign.
Describe the brief from the client:
Sainsbury’s asked us to raise awareness of its on-going Corporate Responsibility principle ‘Sourcing with Integrity’, driving a message of great quality food at great value to existing customers and ethically conscious shoppers at competitive stores.
We identified that while customers were aware of the dwindling cod stocks, they were not changing their behaviours to purchasing the obvious alternative, pollack. After quizzing the fish specialists within Sainsbury’s, it became clear that there was little customer awareness compared to the common cod, on how to cook it or what it tasted like. It’s slightly embarrassing sounding name was also a barrier to purchase.
Across Sainsbury’s stores, sales of pollack rose by a staggering 68%. Increase in sales was driven purely by the PR campaign generated by altering consumer behaviours in stores.
The campaign secured 350 pieces of media coverage across national and regional media in the UK and beyond – including The Guardian front page, TV, radio and online over a two week period. Several international pieces and coverage in marketing titles was secured also.
A delivery of £1.8m of media cover and an 87:1 return on investment.
The effects of the campaign were not short lived. Four months later, the government body that promotes the UK fish industry ‘Seafish’, reported that pollack had secured a place in the UK top ten most popular seafoods. This was attributed to the Sainsbury’s campaign and subsequent reports in marketing trade press which raised awareness of the fish and the issues surrounding sustainability.
To drive coverage in the run up to the rebrand launch in Mid April a long lead press release was sold into to all monthly women’s and food titles. Resulting in several pieces of coverage in key mid lead titles.
For the national launch an image of the limited edition ‘Colin’ packaging was released to all media alongside a news release on the rebrand of pollack. The release also contained statistics on the issue of declining cod stocks, quotes from the Marine Stewardship Council and British Designer Wayne Hemmingway; it was also accompanied with recipe suggestions on how to cook ‘Colin’.
For broadcast media a B-Roll package was released, the footage included fishermen working out at sea discussing the topic of sustainable fishing and the rebrand of pollack, an interview with Wayne Hemmingway on his involvement and the inspiration of the packaging and key quotes from Sainsbury’s spokespeople.
The Situation:
Pollack is sourced from sustainable stock,is cheaper than cod,and is just as tasty, but despite being from the cod family, it’s far less popular. Moreover,Sainsbury’s is the biggest UK retailer of British pollack. The objective therefore was to raise awareness of this and encourage encourage customers to swap cod for the more sustainable pollack.
Quizzing the fish specialists at Sainsbury’s, we identified why pollack was not as popular as cod. The issues were the lack of customer awareness on how to cook it or what it tasted like; and that it’s slightly embarrassing sounding name was also a barrier to purchase.
The Strategy:
The media strategy was to take the serious subject of sustainable fishing and address it in such a way that would engage both customers and the media, ultimately changing shoppers behaviour in a very real way.
Pollack needed re-branding. A new name, new packaging and a launch moment.
With the knowledge that the French currently import 80% of British pollack, we renamed pollack to it’s French name ‘Colan’ – pronounced Colin in English. Colin is a very British man’s name and when associated with the fish appealed to Sainsbury’s customers’ sense of humour.
Leading British designer Wayne Hemmingway created limited edition Jackson Pollock style packaging which went into 10 stores across the country, thus helping shoppers identify the previously unfamiliar fish.
Armed with a new name and limited edition packaging, the fish was successfully re-branded to huge plaudits from the British press.