Babybel drives store sales among its target growth audience

Bel UK set out with the ambition to “save snacktime” in the UK with a healthier alternative within savoury snacks. Focusing on their hero brand Mini Babybel, the team’s challenge was to evolve the small cheese beyond a typical kids’ lunchbox choice to appeal to people of all ages.

The Super Snacks campaign evolved Babybel beyond a kids’ lunchbox choice to appeal to a broader audience.

About Bel UK
A world leader in the cheese market
Manufacturer of Mini Babybel, The Laughing Cow, Boursin, and other iconic brands
Headquarters in France
Goals
Grab the attention of a wide audience
Drive purchase intent
Gain incremental reach among young pre-family adults
Approach
Ran 10-second YouTube creative in two bursts
Used mid-flight Brand Lift Study to optimise campaign creative
Results
18% uplift in purchase intent compared to industry benchmark of 2.5%
70% lift in ad recall against industry benchmark of 23%
457% lift in brand interest
Reached 4.76 million users at average frequency of 1.2 impressions
50% view-through rate

Whilst popular in the market, Babybel faces fierce competition from both rival brands and own-label products. The Babybel team worked to produce a new creative to both grab the attention of a wide audience and ultimately drive intent to purchase Babybel more frequently.

Small cheese, big idea

Featuring two hero products, Babybel Original and Babybel Light, the “Super Snacks” campaign promoted Babybel as the perfect all-in-one snacking option: nutritious, natural, rich in protein, fun, and convenient. Messaging centred on the the Super Snacks crew, whose mission is to save snack time whenever you’re feeling peckish.

The objective was to drive penetration amongst the brand’s core audience of families with kids, as well as amongst the growth audience of pre-families (people aged 25 to 34 who don’t have kids). The campaign included TV, video on demand, social, radio, mobile, PR, sampling, in-store shopper activations, and YouTube.

Reaching Babybel’s growth audience

The role of YouTube was to gain incremental reach among young pre-family adults through a targeting strategy directed specifically to them. In setting up the campaign, the team used demographic targeting and YouTube life stage and affinity audiences (for example, people who were moving, graduating, or getting married, and sports fans and those interested in team sports).

The 10-second YouTube creative showed the Super Snacks characters in a real kitchen environment as they directly addressed the audience. The jingle and brand signature (“Saving Snack Time”) reinforced the brand identity.

The Super Snack crew finds success

The YouTube activity ran in two back-to-back bursts lasting two months each. The first phase delivered impressive performance, with Babybel achieving a cost per view of £0.005 compared to an expected £0.04. However, a Brand Lift Study showed no uplift in purchase intent. To encourage consumers to go in store and buy the brand as the go-to savoury snack, the Babybel team tweaked the creative to show the characters delivering a clear call to action: “Choose us when you’re feeling peckish, we’re in the cheese aisle!”

As a result, the second phase delivered half the cost per view of the previous phase alongside an 18% uplift in purchase intent – compared to the industry benchmark of 2.5%.

“YouTube works to influence offline purchase behaviour. The beauty of digital is that you can measure success with a Brand Lift Study and optimise campaigns accordingly.”

– Célina Leroyer, Brand Manager, Mini Babybel

When the campaign ended, Brand Lift Study results demonstrated a 70% lift in ad recall (against the benchmark of 23%) and a 457% lift in brand interest. The YouTube ads reached 4.76 million users at an average frequency of 1.2 impressions with a 50% view-through rate.

“The great content created for YouTube, running alongside the supporting campaign, delivered above our expectations, not only successfully reaching our audience, but more importantly, helping us surpass our sales targets and maintain our leading position as the number-one cheese snack format. We see YouTube continuing to play an important role in delivering incremental reach alongside TV.”

– Célina Leroyer, Brand Manager, Mini Babybel

Looking back, the Babybel team says there are four important factors that enabled their success on YouTube and ultimately helped influence the purchase behaviour of grocery shoppers.

  • Produce memorable creative
  • Set up the right targeting
  • Include a clear call to action to drive viewers to store
  • Use YouTube’s Brand Lift Study as an actionable source of truth ad you optimise
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