CAMPAIGNS: Consumer Promotion; Nexus raises Bramley appeal

Client: The Bramley Campaign Group, part of growers group English Apples and Pears. PR team: Nexus Public Relations Campaign: Bramley Apple Week Timing: 5-11 February 1996 Budget: pounds 30,000

Client: The Bramley Campaign Group, part of growers group English Apples

and Pears.

PR team: Nexus Public Relations

Campaign: Bramley Apple Week

Timing: 5-11 February 1996

Budget: pounds 30,000



The Bramley apple is one of the best-selling apples in the UK, but it is

a product with an ageing profile. Recent research commissioned by Nexus

on behalf of English Apples and Pears revealed that 40 per cent of all

Bramley buyers are in the over-55s age bracket and, because of changing

lifestyles, 47 per cent of non-buyers believe that to cook with the

product is time consuming.



Objectives



Part of an on-going promotional campaign, the fourth Bramley Apple Week

was intended to increase sales of Bramleys, encourage loyalty from

current users aged 35-plus and introduce new consumers aged between 16

and 34 to the product. Other targets for the campaign included grocery

trade buyers.



Tactics



The overall aim, as with a majority of awareness weeks, was to create as

high an impact as possible in a limited timespan. Coverage on TV was

considered important, partly as a TV profile would help to persuade

growers of the potential of PR versus advertising.



Nexus promoted usage of Bramleys by placement of easy-to-cook recipes on

television. The agency arranged for TV chefs Ainsley Harriett to feature

recipes on Good Morning with Anne and Nick, and Brian Turner to cook

with Bramleys on ITV’s rival programme This Morning. Stephen Boyd, a

chef with radio experience, also toured the country on behalf of Nexus,

demonstrating a variety of recipes on air.



The agency also arranged a number of stunts, including an attempt on the

record for the world’s largest apple pie. And Teresa Gorman, Labour MP

Alan Simpson and Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble were among

politicians who participated in a Bramley and spoon race outside the

Houses of Parliament on 7 February.



An exclusive logo was designed for Bramley Apple Week for in-store

promotions and media coverage, a press pack was sent to various target

journalists, one-to-one interviews were set up with selected cookery

editors of women’s magazines.



Results



The week was amply covered by TV, radio and newspapers notching up an

equivalent media spend of pounds 1.7 million. BBC East Midlands, BBC

South, BBC West Granada, Meridian and Central as well as Newsroom South

East covered the Bramley spoon race. The attempt to make the world’s

largest Bramley apple pie was shown on Central TV and BBC East Midlands.

While Delia Smith’s decision to produce a Bramley creation on her Winter

Collection programme was an added bonus.



Radio coverage include 50 items mentioning Bramleys. The week was

flagged up by Chris Evans and Jimmy Young and Radio 5 broadcast three

five-minute features during the week. Radio chef Boyd appeared on 11

local BBC radio stations for a total of just over three hours.



Coverage from the national newspapers saw Bramleys mentioned in articles

in the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Times, the Daily Star and the

Daily Mirror.



Verdict



The campaign won the hearts of growers by ensuring that any discounting

by the retailers was not solely funded by growers themselves, as had

largely happened in previous years. The largest group of growers

reported an increase in sales of 27 per cent during the week, with the

cost of price promotion absorbed by retailers.



The retailers were also genuinely pleased with the campaign results.

‘Bramley sales at Sainsbury’s were superb during BAW and far exceeded

expectation,’ says Sarah Atkinson, top fruit buyer at Sainsbury’s. As

well as ensuring the support of retailers and growers for future Bramley

initiatives, Nexus will also be handling future Cox campaigns for

English Apples and Pears.



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