Bakery’s video marketing is on a roll

Anyone who has missed out on the Greggs vegan sausage roll marketing video should take a look. It’s clever, stylish, funny and hugely successful, gaining over 5 million views and widespread praise.

In a recent Financial Times article “Greggs’ vegan sausage roll shows appetite for its ‘smart’ marketing” (8th January) the author Chris Tighe described the video as “hilariously portentous” and “part of a build-up that parodied the release of a new iPhone model.”

BBC Business News has been equally enthusiastic about the campaign, including on how it was carried through into PR activities, such as the fact that “Journalists were sent vegan rolls in mock iPhone packaging.”

This prompted a sour intervention from TV presenter Piers Morgan of “Good Morning Britain”, who tweeted: “Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns.”

The rapidly-returned, cool and witty response tweet from the Greggs digital brand manager Neil Knowles was: “Oh, hello Piers, we’ve been expecting you.”

As Chris Tighe of the FT commented, the consumer response to this post and to the video “vastly outstripped anything a marketing budget could buy.”

Recipes for success

Every social media and video marketing campaign will be different for every brand, its sector and its target audiences. The communications elements included in the marketing strategy will also differ according to business objectives and budget.

However, whether the aim is to run a wide ranging interactive marketing campaign or a limited programme based on a specific area such as social media, the Greggs campaign has a number of ingredients that can be used to bake a recipe for marketing success:

  • Seek to engage and entertain, using humour when possible and appropriate. Social media is rife with anger and abuse, and a gentler approach can frequently gain impact, appreciation and brand loyalty as we advised in a recent article on this website
  • Keep on message, including with humour. All the Greggs witty tactics have related back to their product. They have not fallen into the trap of telling an irrelevant joke, the error of many an incompetent speechmaker, in order to break the ice
  • Think laterally – the idea of comically equating the launch of a vegan sausage roll with that of an iPhone was a touch of genius. Their video was simple, direct and based on a concept that people would recognise, smile at and wish to share. It also would not have involved eye-watering production costs
  • Explore potential new markets when possible. Greggs took the plunge to think beyond the vegan market and it worked. A responsive niche audience may be broader than you think  
  • Use the relevant social and media channels available, adapting content to the audiences that engage with them. The digital environment offers incredible opportunities for communicating marketing creativity without making a black hole in the marketing budget

STOP PRESS: It appears that Piers Morgan blames his recent hospitalisation for gastritis on eating a Greggs vegan sausage roll on his breakfast programme. This was undertaken with an exaggerated grimace of distaste, followed by a theatrical display of retching. Since Morgan also blamed Brexit and Donald Trump for his sudden sickness, plus the fact that his trip to hospital came 5 days after this programme with a whole lot of guzzling in between, his accusation against this increasingly popular vegan delight should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. Also, we would be surprised if his claim that many people had wished him a speedy recovery was wholly accurate.  

The BBI Brandboost team has the range of skills and experience to create effective integrated marketing campaigns as well as focused programmes based on selected communications channels. Contact us for proven and successful marketing recipes at any time.

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