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Vegetarian ‘Rookworst’

Vegetarian ‘Rookworst’

Unilever

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In the Netherlands, the Unox food brand is equivalent to <em>rookworst</em> (a popular type of smoked pork sausage). The Dutch food brand evokes feelings associated with wintertime: shared meals, such as pea soup and rookworst, ice skating and family time in front of the fire place. For the first time in its 81 years of existence, Unox launched a vegetarian rookworst. This is without a doubt a break with tradition for the manufacturer of sausages, ham and other meat products, but is it a truly newsworthy event? Can flexitarians be convinced that meatless rookworst can be as juicy and tasty while having the same bite as the real thing?

Glasnost was asked to put the new Unox product on the map and generate as much positive media attention as possible.

Objectives

  • Generate media attention for the launch of the vegetarian Unox rookworst.
  • Put together a PR campaign that encourages influencers and the media to taste the new vegetarian rookworst.

Strategy

The launch of a vegetarian product by an industry leader whose image is strongly linked to an iconic meat product, is big news. Not only because of the product, but also because hereby a meat giant has entered the meat replacement market. To enhance the relevance of this event for news media, Glasnost recommended that the press release focus on a known social trend: 86% of the Dutch population is trying to cut down on meat consumption. Glasnost was sure that this message (the M for Message from our 3M-strategy) was strong enough to be broadcast through a fairly traditional advertising mix: radio and TV ads, print, online and social media. This way, the larger budget put aside for by Unox was only marginally spent.

Execution

The launch date of the product (the M for Moment) was strategically chosen to coincide with World Vegetarian Day on 1 October 2018. News media received a press release and an interview with Unox Marketing Manager Thijs Sleddering. Visits were organised to four popular lifestyle magazines (such as Elle Eten and LINDA) to introduce the product to the editors and convince them of its qualities. Tasting is believing! To also reach a younger food-conscious audience, three influencers with a large reach were approached: Monique van Loon, Chickslovefood and De Hippe Vegetariër. From product placement to recipes, these influencers used various strategies to introduce the vegetarian rookworst to their audience in a credible and positive way. The use of influencer marketing made the most of the M for Means by covering as large a target audience as possible.

Results

The Unox vegetarian rookworst sent shockwaves through the Netherlands: ANP (the national press agency) sent out a news report and TV programmes RTL Nieuws, Editie NL, RTL Z; newspapers AD, Volkskrant, Trouw, De Telegraaf, NRC, news site NU.nl; lifestyle platform &C and several radio programmes covered the product launch in a variety of articles, cartoons and columns. De Volkskrant unfortunately placed the ad for the new product next to a taste test of vegetarian sausages which did not favour the Unox rookworst. The test panel consisted of carnivores–not what Unox considers the target audience for its vegetarian rookworst and the reason the company had not facilitated the tasting. Nonetheless, the discussion that flowed from this test about comparing meat and meat replacements was interesting and socially relevant. Besides, it is a perfect illustration of the difference between advertising and PR: a taste test in NRC newspaper applauded the vegetarian rookworst and other media followed suit. It goes to show there is no accounting for taste.

The campaign resulted in a cumulative reach of 62,600,000 and a PR value of over €1,000,000. Additionally, Unox managed to double the market value of vegetarian rookworst within five weeks of launching its product.

Credits

Account Director:
Senior Consultant:
Account Executive:

Result

62,600,000Reach
€1.043.944PR Value
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