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