Excellence in Sponsorship Strategy 2023

Wanting to grow the meat category and own a majority share, Silver Fern Farms set out on a mission to get Kiwis to change how they think about premium packaged meat.


Known for its tagline ‘Delicious Starts Here’, Silver Fern Farms is a leading premium pre-packaged red meat brand.

Although Silver Fern Farms (SFF) was enjoying high brand awareness and a strong product range, it faced the challenge of low consideration and conversion to sales as customers were hesitant to pay a premium for packaged meat.

To address this, SFF devised an award-winning campaign ‘Cooks on Fire’ which increased consideration and intent while also significantly impacting sales and brand perception.

With only one percent of Kiwis claiming to buy meat based on brand, it became clear that ‘Delicious Starts Here’ would only get the brand so far.

The campaign addressed the challenge of getting Kiwis to appreciate premium branded fresh meat in packaging, competing against supermarket home-brands. With a clear goal to prove that ‘Delicious Starts Here’ despite visibility, SFF aimed to increase consideration to a target of 30 percent up from 23 percent.

This strategy aimed to solve the problem of a lack of confidence from consumers when choosing and cooking red meat correctly. Consumers felt they needed to see the cut of meat before choosing it, and if they chose the right cut, it should be good, if not delicious. 

This insight revealed that consumers believed their choice at the shelf and the price they paid influenced the outcome of the cooking process. Many consumers overestimated their expertise in choosing meat and were worried about doing the meat justice when cooking it.

SFF faced unique challenges within the fresh meat consumer space. The product’s packaging was not familiar to Kiwis, who preferred to see the cut clearly before purchasing. Competition from supermarket butchers and home-brand meat in trays were in competition as consumers could see clearly what they were buying. These were called ‘Cooks in the Aisle’.

Because of this behaviour, the marketing strategy for ‘Cooks on Fire’ had to address consumer’s actions, distribution, and communication platforms and get consumers “inside” the packaging.

One thing united these ‘Cooks in the Aisle’ – a love of food reality TV – and there lay the key to getting into the hearts and minds of Kiwi cooks. A Masterchef-esque TV show just for meat.

This project involved collaboration between SFF, its agency, and TVNZ to create a first-of-its-kind format to develop the ‘Cooks on Fire’ series – a locally-made, brand-focused, BBQ cooking show centred around SFF’s meat products.

This required significant investment and a bold approach from all parties involved. The stakeholders worked together to bring the innovative format to life.

The campaign’s primary goals were to increase consideration, build confidence in cooking SFF meat, and demonstrate the value of premium meat. The results were outstanding, with consideration increasing from 23 percent to 40 percent, exceeding the 30 percent target. 

Sales data showed a significant spike after the campaign launch, with average weekly sales and online sales increasing by 22 percent and 48 percent, respectively. The campaign’s innovative format, strategic collaboration, and impressive outcomes solidified its position as a sizzling success in the industry, maintain SFF’s place as a leader in the premium meat category.


Category
Excellence in Sponsorship Strategy

Company

Silver Fern Farms 

Marketing Initiative

Cooks on Fire

Marketing Partners

FUSE @ OMD NZ, TVNZ

Judges’ Comments

A rare example of the excellent results that can be achieved through a clear understanding of the challenge, supported by relevant insights, to deliver a creative concept that brings the sizzle and secret sauce to your audience. A well-seasoned campaign that was brought to life with excellent preparation, cooking and stakeholder management.

Finalists

ASB, One New Zealand, Restaurant Brands (KFC & SLSNZ – Saving Lives, One Bucket at a Time), Restaurant Brands (KFC Hitting It Out of The Park)


This article was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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