Campaign: Celebrities add spark to sausage week - Consumer PR

Campaign: British Sausage Appreciation Week

Client: British Pig Executive

PR team: Good Relations

Timescale: March-November 2004

Budget: £90,000

Last year marked the seventh British Sausage Appreciation Week, a lighthearted celebration of the banger. Since its inception, the event has grown, with schools, pubs, restaurants and retailers nationwide getting involved. It has also led to the formation of the British Sausage Appreciation Society, with around 7,000 members. Objectives

To position sausages as a premium product in the food industry by highlighting the popularity, variety and convenience of sausages in a fun and original way. To support the growth of the UK market for sausages.

Strategy and Plan

The target audience was broad, including sausage eaters and non-eaters alike. Nevertheless, there was a focus on 25 to 45-year-old housewives and mothers. Quality and speciality foods were aimed at higher-income males and females aged between 25 and 44.

Central to the campaign's strategy was 'The Bangers' award scheme, acknowledging those who had made an 'outstanding contribution' to the UK sausage market, including butchers, chefs, farmers, school cooks and parents. This included a roadshow with photocalls and interviews with winners. Radio stations were encouraged to take part through 'sausage drops', where sausages were handed to DJs.

Nationally, Good Relations courted TV and radio celebrities to generate coverage. Terry Wogan and Coronation Street butcher Fred Elliot were both handed gongs, while a story was placed in The Archers. Ready Steady Cook regular James Martin launched the awards, while fellow TV chef Lesley Walters fronted the regional roadshow.

Consumer magazines, as well as national and regional press, were targeted with sausage recipes and press packs that included a range of 'quirky' sausage facts and figures.

Retailers and sausage brands were asked to put recipes on product labels.

For the past four years, British Sausage Appreciation Week has supported the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, highlighting sausages as the perfect way to fulfil the protein-based dietary requirements of those living with the illness. For 2004, promotional material emphasised the link with the charity to give the campaign a more worthy angle.

Good Relations also relayed promotional material around schools, encouraging children to participate in sausage-related competitions, in a bid to highlight sausage products to parents.

Measurement and Evaluation

The campaign generated coverage in The Times, News of The World, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Hello!, OK!, Closer, Reveal, the Daily Express, The Guardian, the Financial Times and Mail on Sunday.

It boasted four TV appearances, and was featured by 13 national radio stations and 60 regional stations.

More than 230 pieces were run by the regional press.

Results

The British Pig Executive reported a seven per cent increase in UK sausage sales between 2003 and 2004.

Hello! food editor Sarah Hamilton-Walker tells PRWeek that the campaign was 'well thought out and put together'. She adds: 'Good Relations not only came up with good recipes and photos, but made the campaign fun and informative for our readers.'

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