How Roberts Bakery responded to a 'nation in knead'?

The issue isn't being able to make enough flour - but the lack of capacity to pack it into small bags for supermarkets.

Alex Waugh, The National Association of British and Irish Millers, May 2020

The Brief

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, an entire nation was forced to stay at home resulting in many consumers eager to find a ‘pandemic pastime.’ At-home baking became somewhat of a failsafe: sourdough starters trended on Twitter, while UK grocers saw a 92% jump in flour sales in March alone. These factors combined presented an unmissable opportunity for Roberts to become one of the category’s first responders. Within a matter of weeks, they established a direct to consumer offering (Roberts Bakery Direct), to meet growing consumer demand, while simultaneously tapping in to the new zeitgeist. 

Not only were Roberts products made available for purchase on-site through carefully curated ‘bread bundles’, Roberts also created a bread baking kit, giving consumers at home a guaranteed supply of essential ingredients. Not stopping there, Roberts formed a partnership with Uber Eats to serve the on-demand needs of consumers in key city hubs - Manchester and Leeds.

To support with the site launch and promotion of the partnership, we were tasked with developing a tactical integrated media campaign, designed to drive awareness of Roberts Bakery and the direct to consumer site - all to be achieved with a media budget of <£150k in just 4 weeks.


Comms Objectives

1.   Drive awareness of the Roberts brand nationally

2.   Drive traffic to the Roberts Bakery Direct site (and resultant sales) 


Homepage range on robertsbakerydirect.co.uk

Media Strategy

In recognising the growing number of consumers willing to share their baking accomplishments, we needed to find an idea that empowered at-home bakers, whilst creating cut-through against the changing mood of the nation. With the creation of Roberts Bakery Direct, we also needed to drive consumers to the site to purchase bakery bundles and the baking kit.

The idea for #ShareYourBakes was born – a simple, integrated campaign, using a social call to arms as the catalyst to engage with the nation’s aspiring bakers, enlisting them to share content of their home-made baking masterpieces (and messes!), for a chance to be featured in the Roberts #ShareYourBakes television commercial. Deflationary pricing across the TV market meant that we were able to negotiate added media value to ensure the campaign felt larger than it was, stretching across 4 weeks and split two distinct phases;

The Baking Call to Arms

An initial 2-week burst of linear TV activity, including a 30 second user-generated spot on ITV, drove awareness of the Roberts Bakery Direct platform and invited submissions to be part of the final advert, using the call to action #ShareYourBakes.

Campaign reach was amplified via YouTube video activity, ensuring that we reached the most relevant audiences, driving traffic directly to the Roberts Bakery Direct site. Using Captify’s search intelligence methodology, we were able to serve targeted digital display, capturing an in-market audience and intercepting searches surrounding baking. All activity was upweighted in key regions across the North of England (the brand’s heartland) with copy customised to feature a bespoke Uber Eats end-frame in the specific regions carrying the partnership.

The Big Reveal

Following the initial burst of activity, winners were selected from submitted entries to form part of the final advert, launching to the nation via a peak spot in one of the UK’s favourite Soaps, Emmerdale, followed by further prime-time spots in programming we knew created social conversation. Concurrent to this, Captify activity ensured that we continued to identify and direct incoming interest from the TV spots towards the Roberts Bakery Direct site.


The Results

The results surpassed expectations. Awareness of the Roberts brand increasing both nationally (and in the Heartland), resulting in over around 100k sessions to the Roberts Bakery Direct site.

Linking back to the core objectives:

Drive awareness of the Roberts brand nationally

1. Negotiated media value ensured c.3M women 25-54 saw the campaign nationally

2. Awareness of Roberts Bakery jumped by >5pp with strongest results evidenced in the brand’s heartland region

3. The number of people claiming to have purchased Roberts products in the last week more than doubled

4. We achieved c.700,000 completed views of the TVC on YouTube – over twice the amount we had originally forecast 

Drive traffic to the Roberts Bakery Direct site (and resultant sales)

1. Over the campaign period c.100,000 sessions were driven to site driving sales volume in excess of expectations laid out at the start



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How Roberts Bakery responded to a 'nation in knead'

In early UK lockdown home baking became the nation's favourite 'pandemic pastime' leading to a national shortage of flour in the supermarkets. Roberts Bakery responded by setting up a new D2C channel in a matter of days to get baking kits to your door. Here's how we did it!

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