In October it was announced that Lyle’s Golden Syrup was returning to our TV screens with a new ad campaign that intended to ‘stick’ – pardon the pun! Various commentators welcomed their return to TV but noted that the brand had a challenge on their hands to make themselves relevant for younger audiences and not just tap into nostalgia. This got us thinking in the Social team – it’s one thing to return to TV after a 25 year break, but how is the brand embracing social media, given that there are probably still syrup tins in existence that are older than the platform? We decided to take a look at some of our favourite “Granny” brands and how they’re using social media.
1. Lyle’s Golden Syrup
Starting with the aforementioned sticky suspect, Lyle’s have been smart to opt out of a branded profile and instead use the name ‘We Love Baking’, wrapping up all of the Tate & Lyle products into one social identity.
Selling themselves as a community for bakers, We Love Baking utilises user-generated-content to fuel their social strategy – a sensible approach for bonding with your audience. By also tapping into social media events, such as the Great British Bake Off, they keep themselves relevant for their audience.
We’d like to see a bit more social sophistication from their activities on Facebook and Twitter, and further establish their forays into YouTube, but we can’t stop looking at how beautiful (and tasty) their Instagram account is –
take a look for yourselves!
2. Green Giant
In keeping with their mascot, Green Giant stand with their heads and shoulders above the rest in the social landscape.
They’ve not only established a strong Facebook and Twitter presence, the bread and butter of social media (again, excuse the pun), but have seized social “newbies” Pinterest and Instagram. With over 5.4k followers on Pinterest, a great achievement given that the conventions of the channel do not require you to follow brands to receive their content, they broadcast sumptuous recipes which drive traffic straight back to their site and leave consumers hungry for their products.
My favourite aspect of their brand however has got to be their Instagram profile. Dedicated to the adventures of the Jolly Green Giant, they feature stunning images from #TheGiantRoadTrip that are not only beautiful but funny. And let’s not forget Sprout, his little buddy. For Green Giant Instagram doesn’t act as much of a referral channel, yet it does great things for brand awareness – and if that’s not enough, there’s also a link to some Jolly Road Trippin’ Jams on Spotify.
Following is a must!
Beans means Heinz, but their current success lies in soup. By utilising seasonality and catchphrases, we know that Heinz “get” social.
With a solid set of catch phrases that roll off the tongue and into a hashtag, Heinz have an excellent opportunity to create discussion around their brand. With a generation of people keen to broadcast their every meal (known as “food-porn”), their historic catchphrases play right into the conventions of social media – an outcome that Henry John Heinz (1844-1919) could never have anticipated.
Their recent focus on video is another indicator that Heinz are keeping up with the trends, given that we know video is the best performing format on social media today. For their winter “love soup” campaign they have created a series of videos specially optimised for social media – 10-20 second videos, all of which work within the silent environment of Facebook video – which embrace everyone’s feel-good vibe.
The UK team would do well, however, to follow their American cousins and get themselves onto Instagram – the real home of food lovers.
4. PG Tips
We’ve all met Monkey – the tea connoisseur who sprung to our attention on TV alongside Johnny Vegas – but did you know he’s now a social superstar?
PG Tips have an established social presence, with a flagship hashtag of #keepittea, but we’re really impressed by their use of video. With over 4 million views on YouTube and their popular use of GIFs on Twitter, their visual storytelling is innovative, to the point and perfectly timed.
For most of us, tea marks the start of our day – a time when we’re also on social media checking the news for the day ahead. This is where PG Tips come in. They’re most active between 7-9am, when we’re tucking into breakfast or having the first cuppa at our desks. Here they give us a little light relief from Monkey and bond with us over #MorningMoods – it’s just too easy to retweet! Well done Monkey.
Staying within the theme of hot drinks – our final favourite is Nescafé who are utilising social commerce.
Found within their Facebook profile, you’ll find a custom tab ‘Add to basket’ which connects up with your online shopping. Simply select your retailer, the product and your order will appear in your most recent shopping basket – ready to check out with the rest of your shopping. It’s a smart connection for Nescafe to make.
Sadly, their content strategy isn’t quite there yet, but this innovation is a sign the brand is thinking ahead so we’re looking forward to seeing more from them in 2017.
Hats off to the above brands who, despite their age, certainly aren’t silver-social-surfers!