Young’s launches sophisticated new advertising campaign

Published on
April 1, 2019

Young’s Seafood has entered the digital age with one of the most targeted marketing campaigns ever to support its frozen category Chip Shop family meal brand and Gastro restaurant quality brand.

The campaign, which went live on 1 April, is being delivered to Young’s core target audience through an exclusive partnership with Sky Media and its sophisticated AdSmart technology, Young’s Communications Manager Nicholas Donnelly told SeafoodSource.

“At Young’s, we pride ourselves on being the U.K.’s number-one fish and seafood business, using knowledge and experience built up over 200 years. We have always been innovative in terms of our products and packaging, and it was time to take a fresh look at the way we approached our advertising, to make it more targeted and relevant,” Donnelly said.

The company engaged a new media buying agency, Total Media, that specializes in behavioral planning, which is an approach that looks at what makes people take a decision to buy a product, and at their likes, dislikes, and inspirations. 

“Total Media came up with an innovative plan partnering with Sky, because their Ad Smart technology would enable us to show adverts to people who have an interest in our product, at the right time for them to be thinking about meal-planning or eating,” Donnelly said.

He explained that in simple terms, Sky’s detailed viewer segmentation data was overlaid with Young’s target audience demographic data, with the “clever stuff” left to sophisticated algorithms.

“The systems monitor 600-plus channels, with algorithms working out what TV programs our intended audience will be watching at any given time. They can identify relevant buying opportunities in milliseconds and show different adverts to different people.  For example, if you are a fish-eater with children, then you could be targeted with our Chip Shop range advert, but if you are a young professional couple, then you might receive the Gastro Range advert,” he said.

People using iPads to shop online while watching TV will also be targeted, with pop-up adverts reinforcing the messaging.

The campaign is backed up with digital display advertising on quality food websites such as BBC Good Food and Delicious Magazine.

“The beauty of such targeted advertising is that we can reach a receptive audience in key buying moments and hopefully attract new and lapsed shoppers to frozen fish, without wasting our resources,” Donnelly said.

Kantar figures for the 12 weeks to the end of February 2019 show a total value for frozen seafood of GBP 230 million (USD 301 million) versus chilled seafood at GBP 470 million (USD 615 million).

“Our frozen sales grew last year, driven by the power of strong branding. Historically, our frozen ranges have sold very well in the early part of the year, with chilled ranges driving more impulse buys in the warmer summer months, but both enjoy strong sales year-round,” he said.

Ad agency Quiet Storm designed the ads, which feature Malcolm the Cat, a character originally created in 2014, humorously displaying his discerning foodie palate. He is shown longing for the Young’s fish dishes enjoyed by the family he lives with. Young’s Seafood Marketing Director Yvonne Adam is confident that by reintroducing Malcolm the Cat back onto screens, and by using such a sophisticated targeting strategy, the company will see an unprecedented reach across its key target audience.

Besides the entertainment value of the ads, an important new message for the Chip Shop advert is the highlighting of the calorie count, Donnelly said.

“We wanted to tap into the health macro trend and to demonstrate permission to eat. We mention that our cod, haddock, and omega-3 Chip Shop products all come in under 250 calories, so as well as being moreish, they can feature as part of a healthy diet,” he said. 

Young’s Fish for Life concept is not brought up in the adverts, but remains a core part of the company’s ethos, Donnelly said.

“Consumers trust you to sell sustainable, responsibly caught seafood that protects the industry and the environment, and Fish for Life is embedded into our procurement program. We also put the message proudly onto the side of all of our packs to demonstrate that we do things right for people, planet, and partners,” Donnelly said.

Daniel Stephenson, the head of Sky Media’s Adsmart program, Young’s and Total Media had put together a state-of-the-art campaign.

“This is one of the most progressive uses of audio-visual that we’ve seen, and employs both purchase and viewing data to plan, target, and optimiae the campaign across Sky’s platforms,” Stephenson said. 

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