From Love Island to The X Factor, TV has been, and will continue to be, a core part of the Just Eat marketing strategy and that has certainly been the case as we’ve navigated and adapted to the challenges of 2020. During the pandemic we needed to change our approach to focus on celebrating the work of our restaurants, couriers and customers, which we did through collaborations with the BBC on ‘Big Night In’ and with ITV on ‘Britain Get Talking’.
But this isn’t an ode to TV – or at least not on its own. TV’s brand-building credentials are well-known, but as consumer behaviour evolves it’s vital that our strategy and approach are able to react. This is about how we’re using digital, alongside our TV activity, to build anticipation, extend the conversation and reach new audiences.
Our priority is always to produce compelling and distinctive content and that means creating unique native content specifically for each platform.
For a long time, the ‘TV vs digital’ dichotomy has raged with debates about spend ratio, short-term activation and longer-term brand-building occupying column inches and panel sessions. Of course, the reality is that the balance will be different for different brands – depending on your sector, product and objectives. At Just Eat, our approach has been to leverage both to build brand fame and salience – and, of course, drive commercial performance.
Take our recent global campaign starring Snoop Dogg. Launched in May, as the UK was two months into national lockdown, the launch marked a step-change for us – pivoting our supportive, informative lockdown messaging to a celebratory, lighthearted campaign that had a clear aim: to create a moment of joy. Put it down on paper and it sounds risky, given the wider context of the pandemic and moves to pull ad spend. Yet we followed the data and listened to what our consumers and our restaurants were doing to gauge when a change in approach felt appropriate.
The campaign, which we delayed for five weeks to ensure it was released at the right moment in terms of national sentiment, was trailed with 15-second digital teasers and included digitally native content across platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and Twitch, alongside the TV ad. Not only did we make a great impact – standing out at a time when people were hungry for positivity – but it helped Just Eat to continue the significant year-on-year growth throughout the second half of 2020.
Native digital content
For us, the key is to be able to adapt and change quickly. We’ve probably done two years’ worth of learning in six months this year. As the pandemic has altered all our lives in a very short space of time, brands have also had to evolve and reset in line with consumers’ new behaviours. Digital platforms have been an important part of our marketing mix for a long time, but with the current situation leading to record audiences and the meteoric rise of new channels – such as Twitch and TikTok – we have adjusted to meet the new opportunities.
Our priority is always to produce compelling and distinctive content and that means creating unique native content specifically for each platform. By doing this, we can ensure that we’re being authentic to the environment and resonating with the audiences. Perhaps more than any other media, social platforms such as Twitch and Snapchat are very community-oriented and if you simply repurpose a TV ad, it will have less resonance with the audience. With different moments and different environments, it’s important that we play into those in the right way, while always maintaining a sense of brand identity and campaign cohesiveness.
At Just Eat, we’ll continue to learn from our customers, adapt to the changing world and create engaging content to build our brand, always keeping in mind where people are in the moment and how people are consuming that media – whether it’s digital or TV.
Matt Bushby is UK marketing director at Just Eat.