The Update: What businesses can learn from Gordon Ramsay (outside of the kitchen)
In this episode of The Update, Google’s Head of Creator Marketing for EMEA Shar Caesar Douglas talks to Gordon Ramsay, Michelin-starred chef and television personality, about how to develop a business strategy centered around video. They discuss Gordon’s journey on YouTube, and what brands and businesses can learn from his success.
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>> GORDON RAMSAY: The pressure on a chef today is far greater than ever before.
And you're not just the chef now, you're a marketing tool.
And if there's one great tool,
when you're in my business,
it has to be YouTube. Because that's a great way of instantly marketing
the product, the chef, the restaurant, the brand.
>> SHAR: In this episode of The Update,
I talk with one of the biggest chefs on YouTube, Gordon Ramsay,
about how to develop a business strategy centred around video.
So Gordon, tell us about your journey on YouTube.
What was your experience making your first video?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: The first foray onto the platform was extraordinary
because it's very cleverly sort of put-together videos of
sort of mishaps in restaurants for Kitchen Nightmares.
Whether there was a mouse in the toaster or bloody mouldy food,
all of a sudden, this thing started gaining traction,
and then customers are telling me, “Hey, I love your YouTube videos.”
>> SHAR: There's no denying that our world is changing.
Can you tell me a bit about the changes you and the team have made?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: Yeah,
I mean, in my eyes YouTube has helped to make the planet so much more foodie
because we had to take that negativity of the last two and a half months of lockdown
and turn it into a huge positive.
What does that mean?
It's gaining confidence, shooting on a laptop, iPad, or phone.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: DOP, director of photography, there she is!
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Hello!
And then uploading that video instantly to YouTube
gives it instant access to the most amazing fun.
And sometimes, especially across those dark moments
when the uncertainty was coming in to how long we're going to be down for,
I saw the lift in the Ramsay household, who, all of a sudden,
it wasn't just me, it was, Matilda, Megan, Holly, and even my wife, Tana,
that were excited about that fun.
with YouTube you get that platform for a lot of home-style cooking to take place,
not edited and even leaving some of the mistakes in there.
And that's what made it so real and so much more tangible.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Where's my sous chef? Where is he? Where is he?
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: There he is!
>> SHAR: I love that.
You've been making television shows since 2005
and creating content on YouTube since 2009.
How do you think about what content is right
for your YouTube channel, compared to TV?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: The most important thing for me
on creating new content on YouTube
is to do something slightly different to what they've already seen on TV
Big, glossy formatted shows and cleverly edited
is the opposite of what we do on the platform.
So that gives me a sort of foray into sort of creating
new little brands. “Scrambled” was the first big one,
whereby we're cooking breakfast.
Everyone cooks breakfast, but this time I'm inviting a guest in,
and we'll go head-to-head.
“Ramsay in Ten”: How do we get food on the table in 10, 11 minutes?
>> SHAR: I ask myself that question every night.
And how do you think about the audience you're reaching on YouTube
that you aren't reaching elsewhere?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: I think that platform has been sort of
underestimated for many years.
And I look at the way my kids now watch TV,
and 90% of it is downloaded from YouTube
because they create their own schedules.
They are not told that it's on at 19:30 on CBS or ITV at 20:00 on Friday nights.
They're already gone.
They're making their own networks and YouTube,
in my mind, that's how to sort of bring that level of excitement earlier,
and these kids know what they want.
We went past at 2.5 billion views last month. 2.5 billion views!
>> SHAR: That's a lot of views.
There's so much interest in cooking on YouTube.
This year alone, people are consuming recipe and cooking videos
nearly 45% more than they were last year.
What trends and insights are informing your YouTube strategy?
How are you ensuring you're capturing that interest and getting those views?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: There's been a huge plant-based phenomenon over the last 10 years.
Something that every chef on the planet has had to take huge notice of.
I've been watching that boom of that generation that are
somewhat apprehensive of eating proteins, and believing that that
plant's intake was powerful, and they're absolutely right.
So, that instant knowledge, you can't buy that.
Having access to that kind of data was super important.
Trying out a couple of those recipes, the vegan, the vegetarians, and then,
of course, the plant-based huge followers.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: A delicious sauce
>> SHAR: And you know collaborations are huge on YouTube.
What’s been your most memorable collaboration?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: God.
I have an assistant who runs our social media side, Justin Mandel.
he kept on going about this “Hot Ones”,
you got to go on this chicken wing. Really? Just, I am so busy.
He said no, no, no, trust me, you got to do it.
So Sean Evans, I got on there Season 8,
and I think he's got over 60 million views.
On a chicken wing. Okay, a chicken wing! That's how powerful YouTube is.
60 million watching me eat an overcooked, ridiculously spicy chicken wing. Come on!
>> SHAR: And finally, I want to ask.
What advice do you have for other businesses
that are getting started on YouTube or evolving their video strategy?
>> GORDON RAMSAY: What's the first thing you do when you got up to a 10-metre board?
You spend the next 10 minutes debating should I jump.
But the minute you jump,
you can't wait to get back up there again.
It's exactly the same as YouTube.
Get that content out, strategise, break down the comments.
Find the general consensus, the feedback, and then move on from there.
So, cast that net out wide.
Get somewhat frivolous with that leap of faith and becoming a little bit more assertive
and believe in what you are putting out there.
I've done it.
I bounce back from adversity, and I've always said look,
failure's healthy because you never make that same mistake twice.
take that feedback and run with it.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Dad, get out.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Out the kitchen.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Out.
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Seriously? Seriously? Seriously?
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: How do you do a lamb sauce in 10 minutes?
>> ON-SCREEN FOOTAGE: Mum could do it!