The Clover Little Big Cook Off engages consumers with world-first show
The Clover Little Big Cook Off reality TV show (#CloverLBCO) was a huge success for leading dairy and consumer products company Clover (Pty) Ltd. The campaign achieved the company’s objectives to build brand awareness through engaging, involving and delighting customers and to increase sales volumes and market share.
The Clover Little Big Cook Off campaign began in February 2014 with a call-to-entry phase, which drove sales through competition entries. The call-to-watch phase drove sales and consumption ideas through recipe sharing and ran from May to August, which was when the first season aired on SABC 3. The campaign raised the brand profile and garnered awareness in the minds of Clover’s target market, creating conversations and relationships that extended beyond mere marketing.
“Consumers are increasingly selective about what they pay attention to, and yet they are willing to listen to a brand or branded content as long as it is engaging, relevant and convenient,” says Sherian King, marketing manager for Dairy at Clover.
“We wanted to leapfrog the advertising of our brand over traditional methods and used our brand identity – Clover products being Way Better™ – to create a truly unique reality show. The concept was simple – teams made up of one adult and one child would compete against one another to win fantastic prizes. The chemistry of the show was remarkable from the start.”
To enter the competition, consumers had to buy two promotional Clover Dairy products and SMS the USSD code on the packaging, which also put them in the draw to win R1,000 daily cash prizes. Throughout the call-to-enter period, Clover saw an 11% increase in dairy sales volumes versus the same period in 2013, turning around a flat trend that had presented in the previous three months.
Once the entrants had been selected, the focus of the advertising shifted from a call-to-entry to a call-to-watch, encouraging families to tune into the Clover Little Big Cook Off on SABC3 on Saturday evenings at 18:00 (and later during the series at 20:00).
“Clover opted for an advertiser-funded program, widely known as an AFP, in order to reach their consumers on a much deeper level. We live in an age of increasing clutter caused by brands talking at consumers, and not engaging with them – by Clover delivering their message through an AFP, and welcoming their consumers into the brand experience, they strengthened their reach, which ultimately benefited their brand,” comments James Cloete, creative partner at 7 Different Kinds of Smoke, the advertising agency behind the culinary idea.
“The viewership that the first season of Clover Little Big Cook Off received was much higher than we had forecast and received the same station share and audience as South Africa’s leading cooking show. According to Telmar, the show doubled the average viewership on SABC 3 for its timeslot in spite of competing with the FIFA World Cup and it had twice the viewership of Master Chef South Africa.”*
The 13-week series was supported by a rich social media strategy across YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and had significant gains in consumer engagement with all platforms seeing a marked increase in followers and interaction. Twitter followers and Facebook fans were encouraged to share recipes and stand the chance to win prizes by entering competitions during the show. Clover gave their consumers the chance to fuel their inspiration by providing some of the winning recipes and the show inspired brand/consumer interaction by encouraging viewers to talk about their favourite teams.
The Clover Little Big Cook Off campaign successfully leveraged the awareness created by the series into a rich brand identity and showed a positive return on investment.
“As campaigns to drive a brand deeper into the consumer awareness go, this one was a blend of all the right flavours. South Africa was definitely ready for something different that tapped into the country’s unique food identity,” concludes King. “This isn’t a copy from an international brand, it was conceived of and developed by a South African company for South Africans and looks set to become an annual favourite.”
The Clover Little Big Cook Off concluded its first season in August 2014 with the winners receiving up R1,000,000 in prizes – including a seven-night family holiday to Disney World, Florida, USA in October 2014; a complete kitchen makeover worth R300,000 and their recipes published in the Clover Little Big Cook Offrecipe book.