Tag: Public Relations


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.

 

10 Australian Fitness Influencers You Need To Be Following

Today, Australians are without a doubt more conscious of their health and fitness than ever before. Nationally, we spend $8.5 billion each year on gym memberships, sports equipment and the latest fitness trends, highlighting that we’re prepared to pay premium prices to achieve our health and fitness goals.

As we become increasingly active and health focused, as well as more reliant on social media to consume news, be inspired and share our lives, the reach and engagement of fitness influencers has exploded. You might have recently seen that Kayla Itsines and Emily Skye have been included in the 2017 AFR Young Rich List (with a combined wealth of $78 million) emphasising the sheer value of the fitness influencer in today’s society.

In addition to Kayla and Emily, FORWARD has pulled together a list of the 10 Australian Influencers you should be following for your workout fitspo.

  1. Kayla Itsines

@kayla_itsines: 7.8M

At just 26 years old she’s been named the world’s top fitness influencer by Forbes, but Kayla Itsines’ fitness empire has only just begun. Kayla’s fitness journey started back in 2008 when she decided to become a personal trainer and since then she has created a series of ebooks called Bikini Body Guides, a workout and meal-planning app, Sweat with Kayla, and held bootcamps all around the globe. Kayla likes to share transformation images of her BBG girls, nutritious meal inspiration and workout exercises.

Kayla regularly endorses brands such as Adidas, Nike, Apple, Style Runner and Dyson, however she does not do sponsored posts. Kayla has been interviewed for publications including Women’s Health and Fitness, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, news.com.au, HuffPost as well as a range of top tier media titles from around the world including The New York Times, Forbes Magazine and Time Magazine.

www.kaylaitsines.com

 

  1. Emily Skye

@emilyskyefit: 2.1M followers

Emily Skye is a health and fitness guru and model, with a passion for getting people moving more, eating healthy foods and appreciating what their body can do. In her quest to show women of all ages and body types how to trim, tone and shape their entire body, Emily has developed a number of fitness products including, F.I.T Programs. These include video libraries of exercises (which can be done in or out of the gym) and nutritionist-developed meal plans. Emily also shares similar content on her social channels encouraging all women to lead active and authentic lives.

Emily is currently a global ambassador for Reebok and Lucozade Sport. She regularly features in publications such as news.com.au, Daily Mail and Women’s Health, sharing her fitness advice and her own body transformations over the years.

www.emilyskye.com 

 

  1. Amanda Bisk

@amandabisk: 680K followers

Amanda Bisk is a former Australian Pole Vaulter who discovered a love for yoga after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue. She found that yoga became an essential part of her life and the key to general wellness. Since then Amanda has become a qualified yoga teacher and has been sharing with her followers all the positive benefits of yoga. If that wasn’t enough, she’s also created a series of online fitness and flexibility programs called Fresh Body Mind Fit. She shares motivating and inspiring images of her healthy lifestyle on her Instagram.

Amanda is the ambassador for H&M Sport, G Active Australia and has recently worked with brands including Qantas and Biotherm, and we were thrilled to work with her for the launch of Purina Beyond in July 2017. Amanda has shared her tips to a balanced and fulfilled life with the likes of WHIMN, Buro 24/7, Sporteluxe and POPSUGAR.

www.amandabisk.com

 

  1. Base Body Babes

@basebodybabes: 654K followers

Base Body Babes was founded by two personal training sisters, Diana Johnson and Felicia Oreb. Their goal? To inspire and motivate women to be as happy healthy, fit, strong and confident as possible. The pair have a passion to educate women on how to work out, eat healthily, get in shape and maintain it for life. In addition to their Instagram they also have their own blog, which they regularly share their fitness advice on.

Base Body Babes are current ambassadors for Bare Blends and have previously worked with brands including Pantene, Swarovski and Natural Raw Company.

www.basebodybabes.com

 

  1. Daniel Conn

@dan_dc_conn: 331K followers

Health and fitness has always been a part of Dan Conn’s life. After an impressive 10-year NRL career playing for the Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and Canterbury Bulldogs, Dan turned to training and nutrition after a neck injury sent him into an early retirement.

This year, Dan became Wellness Director with the Collective Wellness Group (CWG) working closely with Anytime Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness and Massage Envy in developing healthy body and mind programs and contributing to digital content.

Dan has worked with brands such as Mass Nutrition Bondi, AussieBum, Zeal Optics and Lenovo, and is currently an ambassador for Body Science. He has featured in the likes of GQ magazine, Men’s Muscle Health, Body + Soul and 9Coach, sharing his eating habits and workout tips.

http://danielconn.com

 

  1. Michelle Bridges

@mishbridges: 262K

She’s the straight-talking trainer behind Channel Ten’s ‘The Biggest Loser’, but Michelle Bridges has become one of Australia’s most influential personal trainers and fitness influencers. With over 20 year’s experience in personal training, Michelle has published 11 bestselling books and launched the highly successful Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation online program.

Michelle is the current ambassador for The Australian Institute of Fitness, Medibank and RSPCA QLD, she’s also worked with brands including Big W, Holden and Woolworths. Michelle has recently joined the team at Body + Soul writing a monthly column, and also regularly appears in many other publications such as Prevention, Women’s Health, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Food and WHO.

www.michellebridges.com.au 

 

  1. Sam Wood

@samjameswood: 238K followers

In 2015, Sam Wood, 34-year-old owner of ‘The Woodshed’, Australia’s largest personal training studio in Brighton, and founder of children’s fitness company Gecko Kids was announced as The Bachelor. He met his partner Snezana Markoski on the show and since then has developed his own lifestyle program, 28 by Sam Wood. The program includes quick, simple, delicious meals with a daily 28-minute exercise program. His aim is to show Aussies that good nutrition & exercise shouldn’t be stressful or complicated.

Sam has recently become the new ambassador for Weet-Bix Blends. Sam has also worked with brands including Asahi, Bakers Delight and Hello Fresh. Sam is a writer for lifestyle.com.au sharing his workout tips and top meals, and has also shared these with publications such as kidspot.com.au, Yahoo7 Be and Mamamia.

28bysamwood.com 

 

 

  1. Tim Robards

@mrtimrobards: 158K followers

Tim Robards became a household name when he starred on The Bachelor in 2013, since then Tim has become known for much more. Tim is a Chiropractor, human biomechanics enthusiast, TV personality/speaker and Inspired Educator in Health & Wellbeing. Tim has also launched his own fitness program, The Robards Method. TRM is about simplifying the approach to optimal health so people can live an inspired, fun and active life. Tim shares workout and fitness tips, as well as recipes with his followers.

Tim is currently an ambassador for Deep Heat (a FORWARD client) Jeep, ALDI, Thermomix and Swisse, and regularly works with fashion brands including MYER, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Calibre. He has previously worked with brands including Fitbit, Giorgio Armani, Westfield and NBN. He also regularly contributes to range of health and fitness publications, including Men’s Health, news.com.au and Yahoo7.

therobardsmethod.com 

 

  1. Andrew Pap

@andrew_pap_: 117K followers

Personal trainer to the stars, Andrew ‘Pap’ Papadopoulos, is a self-confessed fitness junkie and endurance athlete, as well as the owner of Battle Fit Australia. After spending time in the Australian Defence Force, Andrew started Battle Fit Australia – a way to simulate military training, but with his own creative twist.

Andrew is an ambassador for SKINS, Performix, ANKORR & AUSFIT Torsion Bar, and has recently worked with brands such as The Athletes Foot, You Foodz and Isowhey. Andrew is also a contributing writer for GQ magazine and has previously shared his fitness tips with Sporteluxe, Body + Soul and Australian Men’s Health.

www.andrewpap.com.au

 

  1. Dani Stevens

@danistevens365: 117K followers

She’s a stay at home mum with four children and one of the world’s most popular health and wellness motivators, but Dani Stevens shows no signs of slowing down. Dani’s fitness philosophy is that having children or a busy lifestyle, should not require you to sacrifice a healthy existence. Dani is also the author of e-book, ‘30 Days of Fitness & Food’ which includes a range of recipes and workouts designed for the time poor. She also has a successful blog called website Fitness Food and Style. Her blog and social channels feature weekly motivating weight-loss success stories, monthly challenges to keep followers motivated and regular recipes and activities to keep followers consistently checking in.

Dani is currently an ambassador for American Express and has previously collaborated with Jamie Oliver, Volvo, Telstra Dr Oz, FORWARD worked with Dani for Thermos.

www.danistevens.com

With Australians becoming more health conscious, health, nutrition and fitness brands will continue to grow and need to develop strategies to obtain and retain market share. The importance of being able to identify current, as well as up and coming, influencers that align with particular brand values, campaigns and messaging is more important than ever.

If you would like to know more about how your brand can benefit from working with influencers like these, please get in touch with the FORWARD team.

 

Bolle Italia – Italian Sparkling Wine Festival To Arrive In Sydney

A world of Italian Sparkling wine and food to pop open in in October

On Sunday 9th October and Monday 10th October in Sydney, Australians can pop their corks with the arrival of Bolle Italia: the first two-day wine tasting event of its kind, entirely dedicated to world-class Italian sparkling wines from Friuli to Sicily, Piedmont to Sardinia.

During the two-day sparkling wine celebration held in Rushcutters Bay at the newly refurbished event space and Italian establishment, Bar Machiavelli – an assembly of Italian winemakers and importers will showcase over 100 quality wines that perfectly reflect each Italian regions distinct terrain, delivering a unique aroma and array of flavours in every drop.

At Bolle Italia’s public wine tasting event, sparkling wine enthusiasts will taste over 100 world-class sparkling wines, and feast on a specially designed bar menu bursting with authentic Italian flavours. Tickets will also be available for master classes with top sommeliers, where Australians can learn everything there is to know about sparkling Italian wine, region by region.

Celebrating quality Italian sparkling wine, food and music in an incomparable setting, the festival will conclude with Bolle Italia Degustazione – an exclusive six-course, 140-person dinner, part of 2016’s Good Food Month lineup. Inspired by the contrast of Italian viniculture, eleven of the best sparkling Italian wines will be complemented by a regional Italian degustation menu, exclusively designed for Bolle Italia by Bar Machiavelli’s owner and chef, Paola Toppi.

The creative duo behind Bolle Italia – Italian sparkling wine importers, Heath Felton and Marco Zaccariotto – conceived and produced the two-day celebration dedicated to Italian sparkling wine, as demand is growing fast, but feedback from clients revealed Australians aren’t aware of what they could be looking for, beyond Prosecco.

Bolle Italia founder and owner of Global Grapevine – one of Australia’s leading fine wine importers – Heath Felton said, “In recent years the number of Australians drinking sparkling wine has increased, with the demand continuing to rise. However, over the past few decades, their exposure to Italian-style sparkling wine has been limited, and the produce was of poorer quality. This is not the case now, and the Bolle Italia wine festival will give Australians the rare opportunity to taste quality Italian sparkling wines coming into the market, and learn how to recognise the difference,” said Felton.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.13.05 pm

Event information:

Sunday 9th October – Bolle Italia Italian Sparkling Wine Tasting from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

  • Finish off the weekend in style with an unlimited wine tasting showcase at Bolle Italia $33pp, featuring over 100 quality Italian sparkling wines from all regions of Italy
  • A special bar menu from Bar Machiavelli’s Paola Toppi, featuring ingredients chosen to complement the Italian sparkling wines perfectly
  • Integral to Italy, authentic live music will be played and performed

Sunday 9th October – Bolle Italia Italian Sparkling Wine Master Classes from 11am

Master classes will teach wine enthusiasts about different Italian grape varieties at $27.50pp

Hosted by two of Sydney’s most respected Sommeliers and Wine Importers, a selection of regional master classes will run as follows:

11:00-11:45 – Prosecco: Veneto & Friuli Uncovered

12:15-13:00 – Spumante from the Heart of the Mediterranean: Sicily, Sardinia & Campania

13:30-14:15 – Franciacorta: Classic grapes, Italian Terroir

14:45-15:30 – La Dolce Vita: Moscato & all the Sweet Stuff

16:15-17:00 – Lambrusco: And you thought you knew what it was? Emilia-Romagna at its best

Monday 10th October – Bolle Italia Degustazione Dinner 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm

  • Bar Machiavelli will play host to an exclusive six-course Bolle Italia Degustazione dinner for 140 people at $145pp
  • Curated by Bar Machiavelli’s owner and chef, Paola Toppi the menu will include items such as white truffle and osso buco risotto, and deboned quail stuffed with foie gras, porcini mushroom & capsicum, and the feast will complement world-class wines from key regions, including Sicily, Veneto, Sardegna & Campania, Lombardia & Trentino, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont & Friuli
  • Italian opera singers and musicians will play live music and create authentic atmosphere on the evening

Tickets:

Tickets to the Bolle Italia Italian sparkling wine tasting event are available at www.bolleitalia.com.au, $33pp.

Tickets to the Bolle Italia Degustazione dinner are available at www.bolleitalia.com.au, $145pp.

 

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.

_____

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!

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  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

 

TrueLocal appoints FORWARD Agency to manage PR & Influence

FORWARD Agency today announced its appointment as public relations and influence agency partner for TrueLocal, following a competitive pitch.

The appointment will see FORWARD help TrueLocal build its brand profile and educate Australian small business and consumers about the benefits of using Australia’s largest online local directory.

Ruth Trewhella, TrueLocal Group Manager, said: “The FORWARD team impressed us with their strategic understanding of our category and innovative ideas to help us build relevant and engaging content. We were looking for a partner with solid traditional and digital public relations expertise as well as experience in working with influencers.”

Fergus Kibble, FORWARD Agency Founder and Managing Director said: “We are looking forward to working with TrueLocal and the extended Sensis team to help educate and inspire both businesses and consumers on how they can get more out of TrueLocal. The directories landscape is constantly changing, especially given the rise and rise of mobile apps, so we are pleased to be working with one of the lead innovators.”

Truelocal APP

 

 

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)