How Fridge Raiders put influencers at the heart of its brand turnaround

December 2017

Fridge Raiders set out to boost its market position by partnering with YouTube influencers to transform perceptions of the brand, which delivered greater return on investment than any of its other marketing campaigns.

Fridge Raiders’ turnaround story is one of epic proportions that delivered ROI way beyond our expectations.

With our product struggling for sales and a main rival – Peperami – that outspent us on marketing and enjoyed greater awareness, we needed our small brand to find a big voice.

This challenge was compounded by the fact that as a nation we prefer to snack on crisps (average penetration 70%) versus meat snacks (average penetration 18%) – and so in the context of the broader snacking category we had a tiny 0.4% share of voice. We needed to pack a bigger punch by thinking and behaving differently. So we worked with Saatchi & Saatchi to help us think outside of a typical marketing box and raise the Mattessons Fridge Raiders game, to move from a niche meat-snacking product to a powerhouse brand.

Changing our audience strategy was fundamental. The key insight was that 61% of teens were coming home from school, playing video games and watching their favourite gaming heroes on YouTube. Two-thirds were snacking at the same time. This was clearly the right direction for us.

Moreover, YouTube was an untapped and unknown media for us as a creative platform to engage with communities in an authentic way through the use of influencer marketing.

We started with a partnership with one of the big stars of gaming on YouTube, Syndicate Project. Together with his fans we co-created the MMM3000 – a ‘meat helmet’ that served snacks to engrossed gamers. Econometrics and YouTube data show this campaign was twice as effective as category norms and 20% more than our previous TV activity.

Having dipped our toe into YouTube and seen success, we upped the level of immersion and engagement with our next campaign. Working with gaming YouTuber Ali A we involved his subscriber community in an unbranded quest with a code to crack. Together we created FRHANK, the world’s first AI snacking robot. This YouTube-led campaign, supported by TV, had a significant effect on growing the meat snacking category.

Our most recent campaign has built on this momentum to really take our brand to the next level. With the digital skills gap in the news, we wanted to excite kids about coding. We used YouTube to create the world’s first live hacking adventure in an ambitious campaign that involved six of the gaming community’s big stars. We set nine challenges over six weeks, each of which was a lesson in disguise that taught over 77,000 youngsters the basics of Python, the coding language used in schools.

All three campaigns showed a clear transformative effect on Fridge Raiders. Levels of engagement with YouTube’s biggest community (gamers) were impressive, with 220 gaming reaction videos made by the community in reaction to the campaigns, 218,000 gaming comments generated and 871,000 YouTube gaming unique visitors to Fridge Raiders sites – with total views of all the content reaching more than 36 million.

Four years on, our YouTube campaigns have delivered an impressive long-term revenue ROI way in excess of any other campaign we have run, and delivered a significant incremental profit to our business since 2013.

Nielsen data shows that when the campaign was live we overtook Peperami and grew faster than the overall meat snacking category. As a result of the success of the campaigns, we believe we have now established a market position where Fridge Raiders is to gamers what popcorn is to cinema-goers.

In addition to the positive impact upon sales and brand performance, the campaigns have helped cement Kerry Foods’ reputation for highly creative digital marketing expertise – both in the minds of the marketers who work in our business and also our customers who recognise the unique role that we can play in driving category growth

Our ongoing partnership with YouTube is set to continue with bigger and better ideas as the Fridge Raiders strategy has been a fantastic commercial and creative success. What’s more, the campaigns are also serving as an inspiration and model for how we market other brands in the Mattessons portfolio.

Sue McVie is strategic marketing director at Kerry Foods. Fridge Raiders is a 2017 YouTube Works for Brands award winner: grand prix and best cultural impact.

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