Category: Insights


4 Minutes With… Melanie Lionello

Melanie Lionello (aka Naturally Nutritious) has quickly become one of the most popular food bloggers in Australia, sharing her adventures in food and nutrition across her blog and Instagram. Her food philosophy is all about “real food recipes with a healthy dose of indulgence” which is captured perfectly in the drool-worthy videos and simple recipes she creates. We recently collaborated with Melanie on behalf of Maggi Marketplace, and created a series of six delicious and quick weeknight recipes.

We spoke to Mel about how she came to be Naturally Nutritious, her tips for anyone looking to take the plunge into blogging full-time, and her thoughts on how the wellness and clean-eating trends are evolving.

You describe yourself as a ‘nutritionist by trade, foodie by heart.’ Can you tell us how you became Naturally Nutritious?  

I actually kind of fell into it! I was studying at the time and really struggling with the huge biochemistry component of nutrition. I previously studied anthropology and linguistics so this was such a struggle for me as a mature age student to get my head around. My sister introduced me to Instagram over the Easter holidays in 2014 and I decided to start posting my cringe-worthy (omg if you had have seen!) photos with recipes. I slowly started to get better at photography, as I believe people eat with their eyes. By 2016 I had my first real partnership offer, which was creating a product that would go on to be stocked in every single Woolworths nationwide. Since then, Naturally Nutritious has evolved to share recipes that are generally easy to make and use ingredients that are easy to find. I also share recipes that are indulgent as well as healthy, as the page is really a reflection of how I eat, and I eat and drink everything – white sugar and wine included!

What would be your top tips for anyone looking to make a career change like you did or starting their own business? 

I know it’s cheesy but you have to have a strong passion for whatever you decide to do. So passion first, and I think something that really helped me was having the courage to say ‘yes’! If an opportunity comes your way, try to make it work even if you’re terrified or not confident or ‘ready’. A little push in the right direction is all you need sometimes to make a dream a reality….aaaaand we are done with the cheesiness!!

What kind of content does your audience engage with the most? 

My top three things are pasta, porridge and cakes! Which happen to be three of my favourite food groups 😉

Who are the five food bloggers you get most inspiration from? 

1: @natalie.zee – incredible photographer, such a hard worker and an all-round beautiful human being

2: @tohercore – she really has the ability to transport me some place else with her moody photography and cosy creations

3: @naomisherman_foodcreative – my mouth waters whenever Naomi’s images appear on my feed. She is also a brilliant story teller

4: @anisa.sabet – comfort food and cocktails, two of my favourite things!

5: @cookrepublic – beautiful veggie-full recipes that are easy to recreate

“Wellness” and “clean eating” have become huge social trends. Do you see them as fads or are they here for good? 

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I absolutely loathe those terms. I don’t like them because these movements seem to put a barrier between regular everyday people and eating healthily. Being healthy isn’t as difficult or expensive as the ‘wellness’ and ‘clean eating’ movements make it out to be, for example a raw, vegan salad with superfoods and organic vegetables can be as healthy as having a ham, cheese and salad sandwich for lunch. I think they will stick around for a while longer but I’m a huge advocate for ‘Healthy At Every Size (HAES)’, the moderation movement and mindful eating, which I’m excited to say are becoming very popular as well and are much more relatable to the everyday person because they are not a diet or way of eating in any way, shape or form J

What are your top tips for anyone looking to get into food blogging? 

Be genuine! Cook and share food that you love to your bones! Don’t follow trends, and listen to your audience about the kinds of recipes they’d like to see. If you share what you love, your audience will too.

 

5 Tips to Prepare for a Graduate Job Interview

Applying for your first role can be a daunting experience, especially if you’ve never been interviewed before. Employers look for a number of key skills and personality attributes to make sure they hire someone who will be the right fit for the agency.

Before getting to the interview application stage, when short-listing a potential place of employment, make sure they are the right fit for you before pitching yourself as the right fit for them. Research what company benefits they offer, if they offer a training program, if you agree with their company philosophy and if you could see yourself fitting in easily.

Once you have applied and get to the interview stage, here are our five simple tips to help you prepare and make sure you’re in with the best shot!

  1. The Five P’s

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. An oldie but a goodie when it comes to advice. Nobody can deny that a little bit of prep goes a long way when it comes to interviews. This doesn’t mean memorising every single one of the agency’s clients or knowing every person’s job title.

The first sign that you’re actually interested the role you’re interviewing for, is knowing what sectors the agency works in, and having a rough idea of their most recent campaigns. It shows great initiative to mention an article in the media that appeared recently that may be relevant to one of their clients, and being able to flag who the journalist was. Those skills are bread and butter for PRs and having a good understanding of the media landscape is crucial. Watch the news, listen to the radio, be across what’s happening in social media trends – and then go into your interview with a few interesting pieces to mention.

Be prepared for basic questions too. Why did you apply for this role? What is it that interests you about PR? What are some recent campaigns you’ve seen that inspired you? Having these answers in your back pocket means you can keep the conversation flowing.

  1. Body Language

Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication when meeting someone for the first time, and is key to creating the right impression. Small habits that come out when you’re anxious like foot tapping, hair twirling or chair swinging may seem minor but can be super off-putting for the person you’re talking to. Try to practice being in an interview situation, and pulling yourself back when you feel yourself starting the bad habit. The same goes for your posture and general sitting pose. Slouched over with crossed arms comes across as uninterested and defensive. Sitting tall with an open posture suggests you’re alert, attentive and eager to chat.

  1. Dress For Success

PR agencies cover a wide range of clients, from corporate to chilled out start-ups. Know who you are trying to impress and dress for the occasion. A corporate agency will want to see you in a suit, or shirt and trousers, whereas a creative agency will be fine with a smart casual look. Also take note of your personal appearance, if you aren’t keen to give up your facial piercings and brightly coloured hair, then the corporate world may not be for you. There will be an agency and PR field that suits your personality so make sure you’re going after the right job.

Choosing the right outfit doesn’t mean you should go out and spend a fortune on new clothes though. Whatever you wear, make sure it is smart, clean and tidy and that a company would be proud to have you representing them.

  1. Question Master

Interviews are a two-way street and it’s very likely your prospective employer will ask if you have any questions yourself, so it’s good to have a few up your sleeve. Not only does it ensure that you look prepared, it also suggests that you’re genuinely keen to learn more about the agency. Have at least two to three questions prepared ahead of time, but also make sure to listen carefully on the day and ask any further questions you have as they come up.

  1. Bring A Pen & Notebook

Write notes!! Having a notebook in front of you suggests you’ve thought about the interview ahead of time and are interested and detailed. It makes you look fully engaged and suggests to the interviewer that you’re actively listening and absorbing what they’re saying.

If you’re interested in working at FORWARD take a look at our recruitment page, or submit your résumé and cover letter to info@forwardagency.com.au

Happy hunting!

4 Minutes With.. Fat Mum Slim

Chantelle Ellem is one of the most established ‘blogger-type people’ in the parenting and lifestyle space, having created her blog Fat Mum Slim back in 2008. Chantelle prides herself on her tight-knit community of followers and providing an inspirational space for women to discuss life, personal interests, photography and her favourite recipes!

Here, we managed to sneak four minutes with Chantelle to tell us about her journey so far, what content she loves to write about (and her followers to read about!) and how she views the fast-evolving blogging and social media industries.

How would you describe yourself – a ‘blogger’, an ‘influencer’ or something entirely different, and why?

In my email signature, I call myself a blogger-type-person, because I don’t really know what my official title would be. I think I started off being a writer of words, and then fell in love with photo-taking and community creating. I don’t really care about the titles (I know some people passionately hate the title mummy blogger) but I just care more about what I’m doing rather than how people are describing me.

You were one of the first to jump on to parenting and lifestyle blogging, back in 2008. What are the top two/three changes you’ve seen to the blogging world since then?

The changes since almost ten years ago have been nothing short of epic. Back then, most of us were writing as a hobby. It was nothing more than a sharing of words and connecting with people over the internet. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen over the years is a movement from hobby blogging to professional blogging. Back then we were coding our own sites and designing our own logos, and now there are big fancy sites and teams of people behind some blogs.

Another change I’ve seen happen is this online to offline moment. Ten years ago it was just people on their computers typing, but now blogging is the great connector. I’ve seen magic happen offline from online connections. With the magic of Facebook and Instagram, it’s become easier to connect than ever. One of my favourite stories is when a lady who played my Photo A Day challenge formed beautiful friendships with people around the world and even travelled halfway across the world to Australia to meet them in person. That’s pretty cool!

How has social media impacted your blog?

When I started I was just writing, and just hoping that people would read it and like it. Now we have social media, which I liken to little parties on the internet. Now I can turn up at the Facebook party and share my content, but even better than that I can continue the conversation with my readers, and create communities of like-minded people so the sharing continues.

If I really consider how social media has impacted my blog, I just have to think about Photo A Day, the photography challenge that encourages people to share a daily photo. There are over 30 million photos shared online to date in the challenge, and that just blows my mind. Social media has made it easy, and wonderful to share creativity online among so many people.

What do you find readers resonate the most with? Recipes, branded content, photography, social etc

I find that different content will connect with different people. I’ve always wanted to be a bit of everything, like picking up a magazine and flicking through and reading what suited the person on whatever particular day. I think my readers love useful content. They love my simple recipes that always taste good. The content I love to write most and share, is the content that has readers thinking, and nodding in agreement, ‘Oh, me too! I thought I was the only one!’ I want people to feel like they’re not alone, and open to sharing their stories too, whether they be about parenting, life, healthy, happiness, or anything.

How do you decide what brands you collaborate with?

Deciding who I work with runs through a filter of sorts for me. I have to think, is this a product/service/brand I use, will the content be useful for my readers, or is this something that will help my readers in any way. I get lots of requests from brands every day, and about 90% don’t make it through the filter. It’s become a bit of a gut feeling now.

Are there any trends you see coming up for the world of parenting/family blogging?

I’d love to see us move to a space where we remove the guilt and we start praising ourselves for all that we do as mums. I think we’re in a space now where there’s a lot of raw and honest sharing of parenting tales, and I love that, especially when it’s authentic and the motivation is right (to share and connect, rather than to shock and attempt to go viral). I think that will continue, and I think that’s a really good thing. We need to have attainable and real people to connect within the online space, rather than seeing people’s highlights that only serve to make us feel like we’re somehow underachieving.

What influences your blog content and style?

I think photography, and that visual element always sparks the creativity for me and then influences the style and changes I make to any aesthetics on my blog. My life, and whatever path it takes will always influence the content as my blog is personal, and always has been.

Any tips for brands when working with you, or general guidelines?

One thing that I’ve learned over the years of working with brands, is that when brands respect your knowledge and experience and truly collaborate, that’s when the magic happens. A lot of brands don’t understand the space, and just want to use bloggers as an amplification tool, to share the brand’s message with strict objectives and guidelines – much like just recreating a press release without any creativity or warmth. They already think they know how that looks and can’t step away from that vision.

If they collaborate with the blogger instead, let them use their experience, and understanding of what their audience likes, they have an opportunity to really create great storytelling and beautiful content.

I also think long-term relationships between brands and bloggers is the key to the future. I always think of short campaigns as one-night stands. Of course, they’re fun, and they get the job done… but the long-term relationships is where the magic truly happens. There’s this beautiful understanding of each other (the brands key objectives over a long-term, as well as trust) and an ability to open the conversation and ask how the two can work together, rather than just be an amplification tool.

 

FORWARD recently collaborated with Chantelle on our client, MAGGI.

 

The Growth of Personalisation

Brand loyalty is not what it used to be, with consumers swayed by anything from lower prices, more options, gimmicks, and even the occasional boycott. As such, to combat brand fatigue and shopper infidelity, mass market personalisation has grown over the last decade, taking cues from pre-mass consumerism to drive pure advocacy.

From a PR perspective, current brand offerings of personalised labels and products have started hundreds of media and social conversations, but it raises the question of ‘is what is on offer really paradigm shifting, or is it mass consumerism under a new guise?’

Evolving technology has allowed brands to create new offerings and show a deeper understanding of their consumers, create talkability and reinforce loyalty. With the generational shift from simply owning a product, to seeking out an experience or emotional connection with purchases, brands are taking offerings up a level, treating people as individuals to create unbreakable bonds between brands and consumers.

The concept of personalisation isn’t a new consumer trend and the argument could be made that the shoppers are attracted to experiences once offered pre mass-consumerism. Before the age of supermarkets and department stores, many shoppers had their particular butcher, baker and grocer who knew them by name and how they liked their bread sliced. Back in the 1930s, Charles of the Ritz in New York (now known as the Ritz-Carlton) offered their visitors a personalised powder press service. The beauticians would blend and press a powder shade matched to each customer’s skin tone in an extremely personal experience. The process made its way into department stores as they grew in popularity in the 1950s – video viewable here

 

As population numbers grew, along with mass production and consumer demand for cheaper products, personalised services fell by the wayside as people wanted a quick solution. Since the turn of the century, personal experiences and deeper connections with brands have become part of shoppers everyday lives, from exclusive offers to experiential marketing campaigns, brands try to entice consumers to purchase their products and experiences as well as build trust. Online personalisation is far easier to attain, as computer algorithms get more sophisticated, personalisation of online shopping has grown from simple segmentation of product types, and purchase recommendations, based on repetition connected to demographic groups, to the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) online assistants able to answer questions pertaining to that individual’s needs.

High level personalisation is cost restrictive in physical store fronts, not all brands can offer the same experience of personalised online shopping or AI assistance, however, there are currently a range of offerings which use techniques as simple as pen and paper. Starbucks rolled out writing consumer names on cups across its global franchises in 2012, a technique already utilised by independent baristas worldwide. Comically, it led to endless misspellings by staff and a surge of people named Voldemort and Batman, but the consumer made the experience their own. The offering enabled them to make a connection to the experience, either by being able to try out a new name, joke with friends using nicknames, or share their misspelled names on social media.

Blurring the lines between customisation and personalisation, and harking back to the ‘Charles of the Ritz’ experience in the 1930s, beauty brand Clinique launched a foundation which enables the consumer to blend a unique shade to match their skin pigment. As skin tone changes throughout the year, the required colour and viscosity of foundation changes. This simple idea allows consumers to customise their own shade at home giving complete personalisation of a technically generic product, making them feel no-one else has that product.

In 2009, Vegemite started offering jars with a space to write a name, to either claim the jar or give it as a gift. The simple action of writing a name invoked an emotional response and meant the jar was no longer a generic jar, but each time they reached for it, it became a more personal experience. From there the brand began spruiking names printed on jars as a gifting gimmick in 2016, something that Nutella has also jumped on.

An example of a brand introducing personal customisation into a storefront is McDonald’s. The fast food giant overhauled its Australian offering in 2014 after sliding sales, showing that heritage brands also need to keep innovating to stay relevant. McDonald’s first tested out its touch screen ordering in select stores in Victoria and NSW. Following the success of the initiative, many more stores now offer the touch screen personalisation option. Customers can choose from a variety of buns, burgers, vegetables, sauces, sides and drinks, making what was once a faceless fast food experience far more personal.

Low level personalisation sees no signs of slowing down this gifting season, with Myer’s latest Christmas offering at the Wonderland in Pitt Street, Sydney. Shoppers can have gifts personalised, including monogrammed leather products, personalised Beatrix Potter character art and framed Mr Men and Little Miss covers.

Personalisation may never again resemble what it did 80 years ago, brand loyalty may never be guaranteed, and online may always lead the way with true product personalisation offerings; but there are lessons to be learned from the past to combat consumer fatigue.

The PR implications for next gen personalisation, as technology evolves, means true personalisation will become possible, enabling brands to create an authentic connection with their customers, think A.I. However, one thing is clear, gimmicks get tired, consumers get bored so the next big thing which drives consumer engagement, sharability, talkability and media will surely surprise us all, one person at a time.

 

My 3 Big Takeaways from TEDxSYDNEY 2016

TEDxSydney is a celebration of BIG IDEAS. The theme of TEDxSydney this year was “Togetherness”. What does this mean? It means that no big idea happens in a vacuum: the best ideas are the result of conversations and collaborations. I also think more generally it means “we are all in this together and we will all go down together – so let’s get our act together!”

Again this year, there was a great mix of intelligent, brave, inspiring and funny speakers and entertainers, who challenged the audience to think, feel and act differently.

I had three big take-outs from the day. These themes were in many different ways repeated over and over throughout the day and are good principles for us all to remember and try to live up to.

1. If You Don’t Step Over the Line, How Do You Know Where the Line Is?

Remo Giuffré is a thinker and creative strategist with a long track record as an entrepreneur, retail merchant and brand builder. He is also the Founder and Licensee of TEDxSydney.

In his welcome to the day Remo outlined for us TED’s overarching mission to nurture the spread of powerful ideas. His ambition is to continuously challenge people and push the boundaries of our understanding, our compassion, our biases and our use of technology.

Remo eloquently said that in the quest for innovation we not only have to keep moving the line but actually step over it.   I think this is such a powerful metaphor; innovation isn’t a destination, rather a continuous journey we take as humanity. So long as we don’t destroy ourselves or our planet we will have to keep innovating and building our improving understanding of community and acceptance of each other.

2. When We Know Better, We Can Do Better.

Tara Winkler is the Managing Director of the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) which she established in 2007 in order to rescue fourteen Children from a corrupt and abusive orphanage.

Unfortunately, Tara found out that the well-meaning support and donations from the West fuels an industry that exploits foreigners in exchange for donations.

Building more orphanages is not the solution; it was actually part of the problem. To break the cycle of poverty children need to be taken out of institutions and have family based care and love.

This was an eye-opening revelation and puts paid to the some of the charity-tourism, which has become an industry in itself.

Tara made me wonder how many other things we take for granted that may be based on an underlying false assumption or result in unintended consequences?  Curiosity about the world around us is part of the answer; a quest for deeper understanding and knowledge is always a good thing. And most importantly, owning up to our mistakes and having the courage to make a change. Tara was truly inspirational. You can read more about it in her just published book How (Not) to Start an Orphanage.

3. Courage, Kindness and Forgiveness is the Essence of Humanity

Peta Murchinson and Gill Hicks, two incredibly inspiring women, shared powerful and very moving stories. Both connected with and captivated the audience – I doubt there would have been a dry eye in the auditorium for both talks.

Peta’s daughter is dying of Batten Disease, a very rare degenerative genetic disease that affects otherwise healthy children. Peta has had to face the absolute certainty of losing her daughter and at the same time open herself up to the warmth, compassion and generosity of her daughter’s school, community and even complete strangers.

Gill Hicks is a survivor of the London terrorist bombings in July 2005. She shared with us the horror of the attack, her rescue and her permanent injuries, losing both legs from just below the knee. Her vivid account of that day left me breathless, and her acceptance and forgiveness for what has happened to her is inspirational. She has dedicated her life to being an advocate for peace and refuses to talk about ‘the others’ or ‘the enemies’; we are all human and we all have the capacity for kindness and forgiveness.

Although the two stories are quite different what connected them, for me, was that through the depth of their sadness and horrific injuries, both these women found the courage to keep going and to not only endure, but to grow and open up to the love and kindness, sometimes from strangers, that helped them both to face their adversities.

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A day at TEDx is a day well spent and certainly challenges you to think and act differently:  something we should all do more of, more often!

How video content is driving massive engagement for food brands – Part 2

In Part 1 of this blog post we considered which video platforms are available for your food stories and some examples of how brands are using these platforms effectively to drive consumer engagement.

In this post, I am reviewing a few of our favourite food channels. These channels are creating innovative, simple and beautiful content with recipe videos that are driving millions of views daily.

At the end of this post, I will share my top five tips for producing amazing snackable video content for food brands (yes, pun intended!).

 

 buzzfeed

1. BuzzFeed Food

YouTube: 631K+subscribers, 44M+ views

Facebook: 20 K+ likes

Instagram: 2.1M followers

Buzzfeed food is known for their really simple and quirky recipes and hacks that prove that cooking can be fun and entertaining. Reaching different audiences, from true food fans to people who are just curious and enjoy the show.

4tricks

 

 

tastemade

2. Tastemade

YouTube – 606 K subscribers, 70 M+ views

Facebook – 14 M+ likes

Instagram866k followers – 100K to 300K views per day

Tastemade is a video network built for the mobile generation. They enable people to come together to discover and share their passion for great food and travel. From quick recipes to original series, they’re uploading two to three new videos every single day, to share their favorite food and travel stories from around the world.

One of the most popular Tastemade’s platforms is the Discovery section in Snapchat, where they share behind the scenes videos about their crazy food creations, kitchen tips, and trending ingredients.

healthypopcornchicken

 

 

tasty

3. Tasty

YouTube: 327 K subscriptions, 17 M+ views

Facebook: 53M+ likes

Instagram: 3M followers

With only three months of being created in 2015, the BuzzFeed’s channel Tasty, has reached almost 17 million views, demonstrating the great impact that food has on people in social media.

This channel makes it easy for people to understand how meal preparation is done and incentive consumers to buy food ingredients and utensils to make it themselves.

Almost all of their video creations are no longer than 1 minute, keeping it simple and easy to engage with the audience.

saltedsmores

 

 

howtocookthat

4. How To Cook That – Ann Reardon

YouTube: 2M+ subscribers, 331,746,754 views

Facebook: 71K

Instagram: 146K

Ann Reardon is a qualified food scientist and dietitian who likes to cook ridiculously unhealthy desserts (in her own words!). Ann is with doubt an Australian YouTube sensation, ranked number nine out of the Top 100 most subscribed Australia channels list

Ann specialises in creating and sharing of creative desserts, cakes, and chocolates. Something people from all around the world seem to enjoy.

cokechococake

Implications for Brands

Video consumption is booming, with more and more people are turning to YouTube and other social channels to search for new food and recipe inspiration.   To tap into this trend food brands consider these 6 tips for great video:

  • Keep your video content short, snappy and fun to watch
  • Focus on helpful or new ways your product can be used
  • You don’t need scripts or voice-overs, but do use pacey music
  • If a recipe, make sure it is really easy to reproduce
  • Don’t make your video too heavily branded or over produced
  • Allocate budget to promote your video content

If you would like to find out more or discuss how FORWARD Agency can help you develop videos like these, please get in touch!

 

How Video Content Is Driving Massive Engagement For Food Brands – Part 1

 

While watching the start of MasterChef Season 8 this week, I have been reflecting on the power of video content marketing to not only stimulate wannabe chefs, but also regular home cooks who are looking for new recipes to break the mid-week boredom of plain old meat and three veg.

Video is making helpful cooking tips more accessible than ever, especially with smartphones, whether you are in the supermarket or the kitchen. It is the perfect medium for a food brands to get people inspired, teach them a new skill, or just put a smile on their faces – and then share it with their networks.

Because of video’s inherent ability to stimulate the taste buds, this format is driving unprecedented engagement and new brand followers. Which means more love and bigger market shares for the brands that get it right.

YouTube

With 4 Billion views per day, and regarded as the second largest search engine on earth, YouTube is the “go to” destination for “how to” videos. So it is perfect for targeting your product and recipe content to people who are asking the perennial question, “what’s for dinner?” or “how do I do that?”.

YouTube has helped content creators (and brands) build massive food audiences through gourmet recipe inspiration, clever kitchen hacks, simple recipe ideas and easy to follow instructions.

For example, SunRice realised there was still a massive job ahead to educate people on the basics of how to cook rice. By listening to their core audience and analysing feedback, SunRice was able to address peoples most frequent questions. The answer was to create a bunch of simple “how to” videos with SunRice’s brand ambassador Poh Ling Yeow of MasterChef fame and then sit back and watch the brand’s views and engagement go through the roof.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 5.28.49 pm

Facebook

Video is becoming the top way to share on Facebook. Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion. (Source: Hubspot)

Food plays a big part of this video wave. With a combined 2.6 billion video views on Facebook last month, BuzzFeed Tasty, and BuzzFeed Food were the most watched food publisher pages.

For brands, we feel that Facebook is a great place for lighter, more entertaining or fun short form content that is easy to digest (pardon the pun) as it comes up in your Facebook feed (also another food pun, sorry).

Vegemite does this beautifully with simple recipe ideas like cheesy vegemite pasta in 28 seconds – love or hate the taste of vegemite, the video instantly stimulates an emotional response, requiring everyone to like or dislike it (thanks to that new dislike button on Facebook). But arguably even a dislike for vegemite is good for the brand – think about the “I Hate Marmite” campaign from a few years back in the UK. This is a brand that people just have to take sides on. 

Vegemite 

Instagram

With around 400 million active monthly users, Instagram continues to be one of the most important social platforms for video publication and distribution. Food influencers have amassed huge audiences here – with food pornesque imagery and snackable (yet another food pun) 15 sec videos that make the mouth water.

We love what Ben and Jerry’s is doing with their series of hints and tips that stimulate extra consumption opportunities for ice-cream. These link back the B&J website where people can watch longer form YouTube video tutorials.

Recently, Instagram has allowed users to upload up to 60 seconds videos, instead of just 15, encouraging brands and influencers to develop the creative narrative further, giving brands more opportunities to develop even more emotive, beautiful and engaging content.

Ben and jerry's

Snapchat

With 100 million daily users and 8 billion daily video views, this platform provides the place to absorb content around the clock and follow the ‘behind the scenes’ of recipes and meals in a very quick and concise way.

Giving users the opportunity to see what the best food channels like Food Network, Tastemade and foodies are sharing in a very short amount of time, but long enough to engage.

snapchat

Next week in Part 2 of this post, I will explore some of the best food and recipe publishers to see what brands can learn for their own video content.

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about the power of video to drive more connections, engagement and sales for your brand, please get in touch.

 

Disclosure: SunRice is a client of FORWARD Agency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Australian Food Influencers You Should Follow

At FORWARD we are always on the look out for the most knowledgeable, creative, and authoritative foodies to collaborate with and help tell our client’s stories. Here is a selection of 10 amazing food influencers that we think are doing really interesting, creative and fun things with food. They are getting noticed, have engaged audiences, and are open to working with brands. Some of these will have heard of, but all of them you will be hearing about in the year to come.

  1. Teresa Cutter:

@teresacutter_healthychef: 65.8k followers

Facebook: 150,028 likes

The Healthy Chef – Website

When talking about healthy and nutritious recipes, the Australian chef Teresa Cutter is one of our favourites! With more than 25 years of experience, she is a recognised healthy cooking authority. Teresa has several culinary awards and has worked with brands including Blackmores, Empire Clinic, Weight Watchers, Breville, Vitamix + Intercontinental Hotel Groups.

After the great success of restaurant The Healthy Chef, she launched The Healthy Chef Functional Food Range, completely free from chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and fillers and made from whole foods.

Also, Teresa is a certified fitness trainer and a Muay Thai kickboxer!

image1

  1. Georgeats:

@georgeats: 145K followers

George Eats – Website

Georgia loves good food, good coffee and traveling. After years of building her Instagram with yummy food photos and recipes, and gaining lots of followers (now more than 140k), she has created her own e-book full of delicious and multiple recipes. Worth getting here.

This freelancer has done menu and product styling and photography for We Are Combi, Elwood, Pana Chocolate, Five AM Organics; done recipe development, styling and photography for Bare Blends; worked with Sushi Sushi, Sodastream Australia and Nourish Magazine (Lorna Jane); and currently working with FORWARD and SunRice on content creation.

Georgia’s recipes include delicious, healthy and gluten free options, such as herby goat cheese pasta, banana donughts and Christmas pizzas with blue cheese, rosemary roasted potatoes and currants!

image2

  1. Lick Your Phone:

@lickyourphone: 67.7K followers

If you’re not so much into calorie counting, then you should consider following @lickyourphone.

This food porn Instagram account is managed by three best friends: Rita, Tiffany and Katherine; enthusiastic Instagram users who understood the power of this platform and started using it as a tool to search and share the newest eateries and hot spots, making it a visual menu that encouraged interaction.

After joining the “food Instagramming” industry in 2015 their followers grew exponentially as they shared atypical and even controversial food photographs. Eventually, invitations for events and reviews flowed in from PR agencies and restaurants. Most of Lick Your Phone’s followers are from Sydney, but they’ve managed to build and engage with a global community. Some of the world foodie favourite brands they’ve worked with include Nutella, Oreo, Grounds of Alexandria, and surprisingly Bondi Wholefoods.

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  1. Elizabeth Hewson:

@elizabethhewson: 3,895 followers

Moving Out Eating In – Website

Elizabeth has latched onto a trend of real, cook-able food for those just out of home – back to basics goodness that tastes great.

She first started with self-taught kitchen skills when she moved out of home to study a degree in Bachelors of Organisational Communications and PR. However, while developing her cooking abilities, she realised this had become her main passion. After putting all the puzzle pieces together, she managed to work with Quay, Australia’s best butcher; Victor Churchill, Australia’s best providore, Simon Johnson and the world’s best glassmakers; Riedel.

She finally achieved her dream of launching a cookbook and has the support of food heavyweights including Valli Little and Sophie McComas, watch this space.

Some of her collaborations include Cleo Magazine, The Versatile Gent, Breakfast with Audrey, The Today Show, Broadsheet, Real Living Magazine, Good Food, Inside Out Magazine, Daily Life, amongst others.

Plus, her Instagram is not only about the food but the beautiful places she visits. *Spoiler alert: cute dogs and cows included!

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  1. Jacqueline Alwill:

@brownpapernutrition: 55.1K

Facebook: 7,915 likes

The Brown Paper Bag – Website

Jacqueline Aiwill is all about healthy and holistic living. Her passion to improve the health of others took her to another level of commitment; she founded The Brown Paper Bag with the purpose of inspiring her clients and share with them her love for nutritious food in a simple but creative way. This Australian has positioned herself as a leading nutritionist, health writer, and presenter.

Currently, Jacqueline is an ambassador and nutritionist for FIVE:AM Organics, Bioglan Superfoods and has worked on numerous campaigns in nutrition and health for The Cook’s Grocer, Tetley Tea, Brita, Breville Australia, Australia Beef (MLA), Jurlique and more. She has contributed with RUSSH magazine, Sporteluxe, Men’s Health, Cleo, Dolly, Good Health, Prevention, GMHBA, FMTV, amongst others. Besides, she joins the panel on Channel Seven’s The Daily Edition, The Morning Show, The Project and Sky Business News.

Jacqueline is definitely a great example of an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, who is making her name through healthy eating.

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  1. Nadia Felsch:

@nadiafelsch: 12.5K followers

Nadia Felsch – Website

Nadia turned her life around with whole foods living: she’s a regular woman who shares her experiences healing herself with food. Her emerging passion for nutrition and wholefoods took her to create pathtowholefood, an eight-week online program that guides busy women to eating freedom.

Some of the brands she has worked with include Bare Blends, Lululemon, Women’s Fitness, The Whole Daily, I Quit Sugar and Body Beyond Birth.

If you’re overwhelmed with work and your everyday life routine in general, this simple wholefood recipes account is for you!

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  1. Mitch Orr  

@instakrill: 7k

Mitch Orr has become one of the hottest chefs in town. After years and years of great experience and winning Best Young Chef at SMH’s Good Food Awards in 2010, he finally opened his restaurant in Rushcutters Bay, ACME, with a promising food and drinks menu.

This irreverent food celebrity has filled his Instagram with plenty of gourmet food and recipes that with no doubt you’ll get obsessed with.

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  1. How To Cook That:

@howtocookthat: 140K followers

Facebook: 67,948 likes

YouTube: almost 1M views

How To Cook That – Website

Ann is a blogger (and qualified dietitian and food scientist!) that doesn’t appear to follow food trends – she sticks to good old cake and cupcake recipes, published on her YouTube every Friday.

She’s currently the third biggest baker in YouTube in the world with almost 453 million views!

Media worldwide loves her work and as a result of this, she has participated on numerous occasions with BuzzFeed, Weekend Sunrise, BBC, The Huffington Post, ten, Cake Central Magazine, The Canberra Times and much more.

She pretty much loves cooking ridiculously unhealthy desserts and doesn’t feel bad for it.

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  1. The Inspired Table:

@theinspiredtable: 6,191 followers

Facebook: 1,960 likes

The Inspired Table – Website

The Inspired Table’s objective is for people to enjoy food and the process of preparing it, with inspirational recipes and tips.

Jordanna’s main features include holistic wellness coaching, cooking workshops and recipe development.

She’s currently writing meal plans for Sarah Wilson’s, I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program, and has also worked for Australian Good Food, Bondi Harvest, New Idea, and Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks.

This account is a great example of all the healthy ways in which we’re looking at food at the moment and making the most out of the food we eat. Plus, she does some pretty good giveaways frequently!

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  1. Silvia Colloca:

@silviacolloca: 11.6 K followers

Facebook: 22k likes

Silvia Colloca – Website

Who said you have to study nutrition to be a famous food expert and blogger? Silvia Colloca proves that wrong; as an opera singer, married to an Australian actor, she is making a name for herself in food. Founder of the blog Silvia’s Cucina, she has been able to explore and share her Italian heritage. Besides, she has since published two cookbooks, hosted TV shows on SBS, participated in Sunday Telegraph, InStyle and is now working with Delicious Magazine and Sunday Style.

Silvia is proof that some people are born with more than one outstanding talent!

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4 Marketing Opportunities From 2016’s Biggest Food Trends

Whether they’re creepy, ugly or sweet-as-pie, tapping into the latest food trends can generate massive sales for marketers. For food brands looking to build stronger engagement and loyalty among customers, these trends can unlock opportunities for your innovation pipeline, more relevant communications and marketing programs, and ultimately, fuller shopping baskets.

Here is our take on some of the larger food trends currently generating buzz and our insights into how brands can capitalise on them

1. HEALTHY PROMISES

Superfoods, clean eating and soup cleanses are still amongst this year’s biggest trends. But what’s so new about healthy eating? Well, consumers are taking note of what’s in their food more than ever before. Major health activists like Jamie Oliver and Pete Evans are rallying people to simplify their meals. Sugar is in the spotlight and continues to be on the agenda of health professionals and government regulators. People want nutritional good news stories, and this presents a great opportunity for brands to promote the positive attributes of their product offering.

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What it means for brands. More than ever, nutrition information that’s easy to understand should be an important part of a brand’s communication strategy. Brands should consider how the nutritional nuances of their products can be communicated in a way that will engage customers and help them make more informed choices. Education about portion size and responsible consumption is also a smart way to help people better understand what they’re buying and eating.

2. THE FLIP SIDE TO FOODIES

Foodies and their social media counterparts, Instafoodies, are dominating popular culture, and they’re here to stay. A recent survey found that almost half of respondents identified with the term ‘foodie’ and a whopping 52% of 21-32 year olds would prefer to go to a food festival than a music festival. But what about the anti-foodie? The people who don’t know how to boil an egg or cook a bowl of rice. The anti-foodie represents a significant untapped market, and brands have a unique opportunity to capture their loyalty through simple and educational food marketing.

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What it means for brands. While it’s easy to get swept up in the world of the foodie, brands shouldn’t forget about the other half. Consider how to make the basics of cooking interesting and relatable. Your customers might not want to be MasterChefs, but they might be interested in skipping takeaway for a night to test a brand’s simple ‘how to’ video. These people still want food inspo! Simple doesn’t mean boring, and still has to be beautiful.

3. IS A GREAT BRAND STORY ENOUGH?

More than ever, people are seeking an emotional connection with the products they buy. Whether it’s where the product was sourced or the story behind the people who made it, consumers want to care about the food choices they’re making. But it’s a cluttered space. From boutique brands to supermarket fruit and veg, everyone’s trying to win the hearts and minds of their customers with a great brand story.

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What it means for brands. This cluttered storytelling space is creating discerning consumers, so an authentic brand story is vital to the success of your communications and content strategy. Listen to your consumers, interrogate the brand history, and look for the unique and interesting things about your product. Consider where or how it is made, and what its interesting ingredients or manufacturing processes are. This will help you to create a unique brand story that stands out from the crowd. Brands should also identify someone to tell that story, and carefully consider how they build on and integrate with the characteristics of the brand.

4. DECADENT DELICIOUSNESS.

Flipping the healthy eating trend on its head, a growing number of brands are serving up indulgent foods with new twists on old favourites, pop-up stores or creative flavour combinations. And consumers love it. Memes about sacrificing diets and photos of overindulgent foods are provoking engagement with a broader online community, beyond just the Instafoodies. This trend is about food in all its richness, flavour and complexity. This is not just a marketing opportunity for brands, but also for new product development.

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What it means for brands. Decadent foods play neatly into the hands of foodies, online and offline. Creating photo-worthy situations with product in hand is a good first start. Brands should consider indulgent food pairings, product personalisation and creative recipes to really tap into this trend. But don’t forget that while indulgent foods are causing a stir, healthy eating is still dominating this year’s food trends.

Interested in talking about how your brand can take advantage of this year’s biggest food trends? Email me on Fergus@forward.agency.com.au

 

4 minutes with: Sean Pickwell, Director – Waterfront

A celebrity partnership could  help your brand to drive fast awareness, engagement and fan love;  and not to mention media interest. The right famous face paired with the right brand can sometimes be a match made in heaven, but finding that perfect fit might not be as easy as you think.  

We spent 4 minutes with Sean Pickwell, Managing Director of Australia’s number one international celebrity sourcing agency, Waterfront to get some expert advice on celebrity partnerships.

In your opinion, what are some of the most successful brand and celebrity partnerships of the last 12 months, and why?

There are so many… but a few favourites over the last year for me are:

Mila Kunis – Jim Beam – I love it because it’s unexpected and cuts through. She makes me want to start drinking Beam. Likewise, Anna Kendrick’s anti-ads for Newcastle Ale are so clever. Using female celebrities for male-skewed drinks cuts though, but the execution like in these two cases needs to be great.

Globally I love the use of celebrities in the Snickers campaigns from Betty White to Mr Bean, and even our own Ray Meagher (Alf from Home and Away).

Jacobs Creek does a great job with their tennis stars and the amount of great content they develop – first was Andre Agassi then Novak Djokovic this year.

Some good Aussie celebrity campaigns – Barry Hall/Kleenex – nice connection to the soft side he showed on I’m A Celebrity, Julia Morris and Westinghouse – not an obvious fit, but the execution is great, and she is so loved, and self-deprecating that it makes the brand shine.

While they do cancel themselves out a bit, both Curtis Stone and Jamie Oliver’s ongoing campaigns for Coles/Woolies, are strong, clear branding efforts. Both have outstanding brand values that each of the supermarkets desperately wants, and both speak to middle Australia. And to some degree they are both working.

What are the top 3 things a brand should know before starting the search for a celebrity ambassador?

The key things are what you are trying to achieve with the celebrity partnership, what are the brand values you want them to represent, and what do you need them to do. Sounds fairly straightforward but it is amazing how often these basics get skipped.

Understanding your brand is really important, and what you want to say in the market. Celebrities and the message they convey vary so much.

Also, you need to know that you will be dealing with someone (and their team) who has opinions, and will often have input – they aren’t machines. So it can be a hot kitchen…and you need to understand it can be a wild ride. But that’s why we use celebrities – to harness that personality and power for your brand. But it’s not always easy.

What should a brand look for when searching for a celebrity?

Fit is the key – their brand values and yours – making sure they are aligned.

Although often the celebrities brand values may be where you want your brand to end up, rather than where it is now. In many cases, the reason you might look to a particular celebrity is where the celebrity can take your brand.

Ideally you want someone who you can work with, and who wants to work with you. This is not always easy to know upfront, but there are ways to see if you will be compatible.

What are the most important rules of engagement when working with a celebrity?

Be upfront in the negotiating about what you are trying to do, and what you want from them – specifically.

Try and build a strong relationship with them and the team, so when you do maybe need something extra, it won’t be a problem. And they will want to go the extra mile for you.

Don’t skimp on extra things like accommodation, transport, meals, etc. just to save a few bucks. If they feel you are being cheap, it can rub off on their attitude.

Don’t try and sneak things in once the deal is done. One company we know added extra category exclusions into the contract right at the last minute. Got everyone off side.

What are the most common things a brand can forget when working with a celebrity?

It’s not so much what you might forget; it’s more know what to remember. That’s not just being tricky with words, more to make the point that when you do something everyday, you get good at it, and you know what to look for in each situation. It’s really a great argument to use a specialist to help secure your celebrity. We know who to talk to, how much you should be paying, what you need to include and remember, and how to make it as smooth as possible.

Sean Pickwell(lowres)