Tag Archives: Special K

Weight Watchers’ café is fuelled by social media

17 May

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It’s not a case of bloggers’ block that’s kept me away for so long; it’s a lack of intriguing campaigns. But, just as I was about to give up hope… Weight Watchers opened the door to a very interesting concept.

The weight-loss company has launched its first ‘Feel Good’ café in London, and social media is the key to getting in.

In exchange for spreading the ‘feel good’ message, customers can pick their favourite healthy dishes – for free.

It’s a bold and brave approach to hospitality, but it’s not the first time we’ve been bribed with freebies for a Facebook update. Remember Special K‘s Tweet Shop?

Weight Watchers’ café, based in Hoxton Square, may only be open for a week, but it is something the the brand will consider rolling out nationwide if it’s successful. After all, tasting is believing and if people choose its meals when eating out, then they’ll definitely purchase as part of their weekly shop. It’s a win-win.

So, don’t be fooled. Even if you leave feeling good, the Weight Watchers’ empire will feel better.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a breakthrough initiative for the weight-loss industry, as Alex from Social Media Frontiers says. And, for a brand which already commands considerable shelf space in supermarkets, this really was the only direction to go in. Sure, it could’ve partnered with an up-and-coming coffee chain but where’s the fun in that?

Big brands don’t tag-along if they’ve got the pulling power to lead from the front.

My only critique is that the café launch should’ve coincided with Social Media Day (June 30), but Weight Watchers has a good excuse – new research which highlights the dieting challenges the UK faces, and the café is part of the answer.

The only other question is, how will Slimming World respond?

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How to get people engaged online

24 Sep

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If ‘co-production’ – consumers publishing material on social media that directly engages with an organisation – is the highest form of creative engagement, then I’ve still got a long way to go to master this social art form.

According to Naoimh Looney, as read on The Wall blog, co-production provokes attention-grabbing material and helps businesses to form strong social links.

It might be easy to encourage the average consumer to do something on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. But, when targeting chefs like I do day-to-day, it’s sometimes like getting blood from a stone.

Earlier this year, I helped run a photo campaign called ‘Concentrated Places‘ to celebrate the launch of Knorr’s Create More Concentrated Sauces. With the idea of getting chefs, caterers and anybody we could find to squeeze themselves into a tight spot in the kitchen, we gave ourselves two months to get as many pictures as we could uploaded onto leading chef community site Caterer & Hotelkeeper’s Table Talk.

We found it easy to secure the coverage, but securing entries was difficult. Not even the incentive of a donation per photo to the hospitality industry’s benevolent association, Hospitality Action, could convert interest into images.

We wanted to get inspirational chefs on board to encourage the wider industry to get involved. I even had the balls to ask Marco Pierre White at a master class, but he gave me a look to say ‘don’t you know who I am?’ before (not so) kindly telling me ‘no’.

We also tried Twitter which gave us some fantastic, and almost instant, responses from well-known chefs. But, again after sending them the details there was nothing to upload.

With weeks to go, we turned to the person we should have started with. The founder of chef forum Staff Canteen, Mark Morris, spread the word throughout his network which led to tens of photos pouring in each day.

We ended our campaign on 70 photos, raising more than £1,000 for charity. This experience hasn’t put us off doing something similar in the future, we’ve just learnt that a social media-led campaign is only as strong as your target audience. If they’re not willing or too busy to complete the call to action, it’s going nowhere.

NEW
Kellogg’s has brought the issue of co-production full circle by bringing social media to the streets. To generate a buzz around its new snack Special K Crackers, Kellogg’s has opened a Tweet Shop which encourages users to pay for their goods by tweeting about the low-calorie snack.

The Tweet Shop is open in London until the end of Friday.

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