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Figaro Digital Food & Drink: Getting customers to lick the screen, and other crumbs of advice



Positive recently attended #FigDigFoodDrink a.k.a. the Food & Drink Digital Marketing Conference run by Figaro Digital and hosted by our good friends at Great British Chefs, whom we collaborated with on our European Lamb Campaign.


The central pillars of the event were Inspiration, Innovation and Engagement, and we were keen to discover how other F&B brands were delivering against these.

Ella’s Kitchen

A great example of using thought leadership came in the form of Ella’s Kitchen’s #vegforvictory initiative to encourage parents to start weaning their children with plain old vegetables.


At first glance what seemed to be a witty update of the WW2 ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign was elevated via a mission-driven imperative to help children form a healthy and positive association with vegetables.


Ella’s Kitchen achieves this through great content such as their ‘Greener Paper’ and veggie guides for parents, all of which they hope – with public support - will get Public Health England to enhance the NHS Choices guidelines on weaning to ‘promote veg first, veg frequently and veg in variety’.

The Restaurant Group

What followed was a great talk from The Restaurant Group, who laid out how they had created a 360° view of their customer journey through a powerful combination of data insights, gamification in digital channels and in-restaurant, and a compelling matrix of personalised loyalty programmes. Their approach was clearly gaining traction across their Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s brands, and what stuck in my mind was their dedication to deliver “Old Fashioned Service through Technology” – a maxim every self-respecting restaurant group could live by.

Naked Wines

Which then led us on to Naked Wines who demonstrated that their brand is really all about the guys behind the wines they market (as well as the public who held fund them!).


It was inspiring to see the passion, love and dedication that ‘start-up’ winemakers put into their creations brought to life through stories delivered via VR and QR technologies.


Just imagine how cool it is if you can scan the code on the side of your bottle in order to see the winemaker himself tell you the story behind the wine you’re about to drink with friends – and that you may even have invested in?

Peter’s Yard

Peter’s Yard were up next up tell us how they were succeeding put Swedish recipe for sourdough crispbread on the map in what is a very competitive market dominated by corporate brands. Their tips for building a challenger brand were nicely summarised thus:


  1. Be outstanding
  2. Break all the rules
  3. Be ruthlessly focused
  4. Your people are your brand
  5. Your fans are your greatest asset


The last talk before lunch focused on neuroscience in marketing. It was interesting to hear Crowdcat’s position on ‘decision-fatigue’ – the notion where there are only a limited number of decision that a human can make in the day – mostly linked in functioning and getting from A to B. It’s an acknowledgement of this fact that leads to notable people like Obama and Zuckerburg to wear the same clothes each day – just so that they don’t waste a valuable decision! 


Finally we were taught how to make customers ‘lick the screen’ when M&S launched into an expose of their Adventures in Food summer campaign aimed at the 3.5M-strong ‘Food Discoverer’ audience in the UK. You could see the benefits of investing in quality video content and chef partnerships, but the key learning M&S shared was to ensure to front load your media investment in social. M&S saw the greatest volume of shares on YouTube in the first 3-4 days after launch, while in Facebook the shares dropped off after just 2 days! It really is about here today gone tomorrow.

Final Food for Thought

So did the speakers deliver against the theme of Inspiration, Innovation and Engagement? I certainly thought the brands mentioned above clearly did, and although many were trying to push the boundaries of what digital tech offers to today’s marketers, their examples were broadly still grounded in their brand’s values and a core idea.


The main failing across the board however  (with the exemption of Crowdcat) was that none of the brands were really able to give us any concrete metrics they’d set against a contribution to purchase/sales, with much of the activity described as ’awareness-driving’. Which begs the question: Should we not also talk about how all this adds to businesses’ bottom lines? 


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