Activation Year Review

As we look back on what has been a busy, successful and fun 2016, and look forward to an exciting 2017, we take a closer look at just a few of the big questions we have answered this year…


How do we inspire people to eat Young’s Gastro fish on Date Night?
The Young’s Gastro ‘Date Night’ digital campaign launched in January and created a Gastro conversation online with sharable content.

With ‘Malcom’s Purrrfect Date Night’ digital campaign you could find out, in a ‘Mr and Mrs’ style game, whether your date is your ‘Purrrfect’ Date Night Companion. There are weekly prizes of £250 John Lewis Vouchers, so consumers can recreate their Date Night at home, and daily prizes of Young’s vouchers, to treat yourself to some delicious Young’s Gastro products on us.

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Can we roll out our university rebrand across all digital channels, and quickly?
Following a competitive pitch in December 2015, UWE Bristol – University of the West of England appointed us to the task of leading the creative direction and redesign of their website and all digital channels, following a rebrand of the university – all delivered by February!

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Can we get the nation to crave Young’s Chip Shop?
Our Young’s Chip Shop Easter campaign aimed to get the nation ‘licking their screen’s as we shared irresistible images and videos of their Chip Shop range, driving reappraisal by reminding consumers just what they’re missing.

Alongside a programme of irresistibly tasty social content, the Chip Shop social campaign also features a photo upload competition, where fans were asked to upload an image of their tastiest and most tantalizing Chip Shop fish suppers for the chance to win a summer holiday with our partners at Haven Holidays.

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How do we inspire foodies with our Italian recipe inspiration?
In April, we launched the new UK website for Sacla’, the UK’s number one Pesto brand, to coincide with its new brand identity and the 25th anniversary of Sacla’ in the UK.

The stunning new website offers this foodie audience a huge range of delicious Sacla’-inspired recipes and product stories to help consumers transform their meal times.

Now can we get our existing Sacla’ users to buy one more pack per year?
We also kicked off a ‘medium & light user’ plan, against the brief of getting every existing Salca’ user to buy just one more jar of Pesto per year.

We forensically identified 1 million Pesto consumers, and spoke to them every month via social, search and display – but only on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays (when they used it most), delivering ‘Midweek Mealtime Makeover’ ideas to use Sacla’ products to transform their ordinary midweek meals into something with WOW factor!

We’ve reached over 7 million Pesto consumers since June, with phenomenal results.



Can you solve the #biscuitcase?
We launched a new digital and social campaign for premium German biscuit brand, Bahlsen, supporting their debut TV campaign celebrating one of their leading biscuit brands; Choco Leibniz.

Tasked with a brief which explores ‘The Power of Distraction’ and to dial up the premium nature of the brand, we wanted to deliver a digital concept that would educate as well as mirror the luxurious, timeless, European setting of the murder mystery creative of the TV advert.

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But can you prove how much my dad loves scampi?
Through a socially led promotion, and a world first, we created personalised Father’s Day Scampi packs, to kick off a week long digital celebrations to mark the 70th birthday of Young’s Scampi.

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Can we bring our Branston summer sampling events to life?
We created the innovative ‘Branston Proms Picnic’ campaign to activate the sampling activity, adding participation, rewarding the visitors to the sampling location with instant win prizes, and building a deeper relationship around the sampling activity, whilst also collecting data at each event.

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Can we give the nation a PiCK UP!?
Over the summer, we also helped Bahlsen provide a much needed pick-up for the nation, after an unsettling few weeks of news. The brand rewarded shoppers across the country by targeting a give-away of 500,000 multi-packs of five biscuits, which added up to 2.5 million individual PiCK UP! biscuit bars – which we then activated via a social UGC campaign. #PickUpPickUp

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What could you make with a 12 month’s supply of Branston Pickle and Pilgrims Choice cheese?
Answers are; 1 huge 30ft pizza, 672 Cheese & Pickle bean burgers and a massive 10 stone burger, amongst other things…

We were tasked with developing a digital activation idea to support an in-store and on-pack promotion between Pilgrims Choice Cheese and Branston Pickle – which we bought to life with a neat campaign idea – What could you do with it? – and video recipe content to reinforce the unique link between the brands.

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Can we get our existing users to buy more often?
Our long-standing client, Ocean Spray, asked us to fix a strategic challenge – – getting existing users to buy more often; driving repeat and frequency.

We have developed an approach that forensically targets existing users through a mixture of social, search, display and retargeting. The seasonally-themed campaigns deliver rich, stimulating content to them, including video content created by our content team. Our campaign made the brand story fresh and relevant to Ocean Spray consumers, driving usage occasions.

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Can we use Snapchat as a promotional tool?
In August we worked with Aardman, 
Snapchat & Morph in a very exciting collaboration. We enabled Aardman’s classic clay character Morph to make his debut Snapchat appearance at this year’s Bristol Harbour Festival, giving visitors over the weekend the chance to snap a selfie with the Bristol-born legend.

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We need to be bold!
Later in the year we were tasked to develop a new Branson website, which would really ‘Bring out the Branston’ personality and which would bring ‘Make it Special’ to life in a bold new way. And most recently, we’ve just launched a new site for Sarson’s; vinegar another British classic!

See the site here



Last but by no means least – Can we take our global website into the UK?
We have been working with Nestlé Professional on their significant new UK website – which after 18 months of planning and development, content and copy, the site has just launched! The site takes their foodservice digital experience to a new level, building customer relevance and intimacy by showcasing the solutions available to each audience channel.

See the site here



How do we all fit in our office now?
With consistent year-on-year growth we needed new home, so we moved to our new harbourside home in the heart of Bristol, perfectly positioned to accommodate our growing team and growing business.

We’ve had an amazing 2016, and would like to pass on our sincerest thanks and festive best wishes to our team, our clients, colleagues and partners and we look forward to a healthy and prosperous 2017 with you all.

Any questions, give us a shout!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all the team at Activation.