Birds Eye partners with Yellow Submarine film writer for teatime push

Birds Eye is partnering with children’s author and co-writer of the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine film Roger McGough for a nationwide push to to encourage kids to eat their food.

The author has penned a series of short stories for 3 to 10-year olds describing the adventures of the brand’s Clarence the Bear as he travels from his home in the Arctic to the UK. The seven tales – one for each day of the week – are told through the brand’s “Story on a Plate” initiative where each adventure is written directly onto the dish. Birds Eye will give away more than 250,000 plates for free at a Sainsbury’s and Morrisons stores over the next three months.

The frozen food maker hopes the stories will encourage children to finish their dinner after a study of over 2,000 British mums it commissioned revealed 86 per cent concede that their kids rarely finish the food on their plates. According to the findings, almost one in three (29 per cent) said their child will only eat off their favourite or personal plate and three-quarters of children (75 per cent) lose interest during teatime.

The tie-up is being supported by a Facebook app where fans can view an animated film of the seven stories as well as enter a competition for McGough to visit their school and hold a “plate reading”. It will also feature promotions for fans to win plates. Radio and in-store activity will also be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Margaret Jobling, Birds Eye’s Marketing Director, told Marketing Week the campaign could lead to further products involving the bear if it as a success. The brand is gleaning insights from both the Facebook app and promotions it runs with retailers to see whether there is scope to build an ecommerce offering, she says.

Jobling adds: We’ve tried to make the brand as tangible as possible in the latest campaign. There’s a strong online element that ties to how people redeem their plates and if it is success we feel there’s scope to establish an commerce presence by doing a lot more interesting things around Clarence the bear.

“We are trying to drive relevance. There are so many companies competing for hears as well as minds around the teatime occasion. If you look at our core products we are very firmly a teatime brand. There’s a massive opportunity for us to be more consistent across all touchpoints and how we drive everything from our above the line through to the store.”

The campaign is the latest in Birds Eye’s two-pronged marketing strategy to use teatimes to appeal to both adult diners and families. It is bringing its in-store, outdoor and digital advertising more in line with TV adverts after admitting to Marketing Week earlier this year that recent activity had not been as effective as it would have liked in driving engagement.  

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