The pork brand recently repositioned itself with the ambition to redefine the pork category and, within that, the Eskort brand.
To do so successfully, Eskort says that it felt it needed to create a strong digital presence to complement its brand refresh, which included a television campaign, packaging redesign and out-of-home initiatives.
The backbone of the digital presence was an 'Always On' campaign, supported by a corporate identity revamp on all of its digital platforms and Eskort's butchery accounts. It was also supported by an influencer launch campaign, a website reskin and the launch of a digi-series.
According to the manufacturer, it performed exceptionally well, smashing the targets the brand and agencies had set and beating Eskort's historical performance and industry benchmarks on social channels.
The reach figures topped 15.7 million for the five-month period. Other achievements included its engagement, which sat at 7.2 million and video plays that saw 4.8-million views.
The digi-series '#WGCOT' (Who Got Chowed On Twitter) played a critical role in helping the digital outreach achieve these figures, says Eskort. Featuring Coconut Kelz and other South African comedians, its purpose was to create and build awareness with all the South Africans that knew of Eskort but did not have a relationship with the brand.
"When we created '#WGCOT', we set out to create content that South Africans wanted to watch and not just create advertising," says 8909's creative director Rory MacRobert. "Our goal was to create branded content that lived in our consumers' worlds instead of ours, resulting in Eskort becoming a beloved, household name."
The six episodes have to date achieved 3.9 million total impressions and over 2.7 million overall views. On Twitter, '#WhoGotChowed's' seventh episode trended above SONA, with the hashtag receiving 920 000 impressions. At the same time, comments from the digital communities reflect how positively the brand had been accepted in the market, says Eskort.
Eskort's group marketing manager Marcelle Pienaar says, "The overriding goal driving our strategies and marketing efforts is to move Eskort from an unrelatable brand to one that is recognised in homes across our country for its authenticity and credibility."
"To do that, we needed the broadest possible reach, hence our focus on television and digital — complemented with out-of-home, instore and packaging — which is yet to be released," adds Pienaar.
According to Pienaar, once Eskort was a household guest and part of the conversation, consumers would begin to choose the brand above others when they stood in front of the cold storage shelves in the supermarket.
"The strategy was four-fold: educate our consumer groups, differentiate the Eskort brand, build brand recognition and quality, taste and safety attributes and build relevance and emotional connection with the youth. We knew that doing this would revitalise the entire category," adds Pienaar.
"Our challenge was to bring this heritage brand back into the lives of South Africans and we're doing that with an exciting 360° campaign that walks and talks like a truly iconic South African brand," says MetropolitanRepublic's executive creative director Kamogelo Sesing.
"Digitally-speaking, our proprietary 'Always On' digital process has ensured that the team is always engaging reactively and proactively with the various online communities and constantly making media optimisations," adds Sesing.
"In doing so, they have broken all performance records for Eskort and have steadily brought down the cost per thousand people reached by 37%, Sesing concludes.
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