H&K's Back-to-Baking campaign for SPLENDA® resulted in:
  • 20% increase in sales
  • 97% increase in calls to consumer carline
"The Back to Baking activity did an excellent job for SPLENDA® in the UK. H&K tackled a tough brief for what has historically been a 'low interest' product to help us reposition the brand in the minds of all key audiences - consumers, journalists and the trade. The campaign delivered outstanding results, not only in terms of the quality of press coverage achieved, but in terms of sales too. The whole package helped build the brand for the future and provided an excellent springboard for all subsequent marketing activity".

Abigail Storms, SPLENDA® Marketing Manager UK

All of which are solely attributable to PR as no other marketing activity was taking place at the time

Our big challenge was to set SPLENDA® apart from other low calorie sweeteners (LCS) in the minds of consumers, as well as raising its profile in a static marketplace and a low interest category. Our aim was to increase sales and move media coverage from food and slimming pages into news and lifestyle media. In addition there was a clear opportunity to create and own a new sub-category within the LCS/sugar market and position SPLENDA® as the only low-calorie 'sugar alternative' that is versatile enough to be used in exactly the same way as sugar.

H&K identified an emerging consumer trend that was set to affect family meal times in homes across the UK - as a result of the ongoing childhood obesity debate and escalating negativity towards ready-meals/packaged foods, consumers were looking to prepare more and more meals from scratch.

In conjunction with MORI, H&K commissioned research of 1,000 women to investigate this trend further and to better understand the level of cookery skills among the target audience.

The results highlighted:
  • 2 million mums in the UK didn't know how to bake a cake
  • 1/5 of all women cite 'baking being high in calories' as the main reason they are put off baking
  • 21% of women say they lack inspiration
  • 5% of women have never been taught how to bake
H&K devised a creative platform that focused solely on the brand's USP, that SPLENDA® is the only sweetener that you can use in baking, spoon for spoon, like sugar. The approach was devised to create stand-out for SPLENDA® outside the traditional media environment for LCS and reach into the lifestyle, celebrity, news and real-life pages driving re-evaluation of the brand amongst the target consumer. H&K capitalised on the trend away from processed food and the worrying lack of cookery skills within the UK to launch a nationwide call-to-action to help get Brits back into the kitchen. We joined forces with wellliked and credible expert, Antony Worrall Thompson (AWT), to communicate the health benefits of SPLENDA® and to demonstrate how versatile it can be to cook and bake with. We then ignited national media interest and positioned SPLENDA® as THE contemporary, low-calorie alternative to sugar by bringing on board glamorous supermodel/mum, Jerry Hall, and creating a high profile, 'never been done before' celebrity challenge. The Back to Baking campaign set out to show women that baking can be glamorous and it does not have to be fattening

SPLENDA®'s Back-to-Baking campaign had 6 key elements to it:
  1. News story
    • H&K commissioned research to provide the news hook ('2 million women in the UK don't know how to bake a cake') on which to hang the campaign messages and drive news interest in the campaign.
    AWT recipes and advice
    • H&K developed a partnership with celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson to underpin the campaign with taste and health credentials (AWT has personal association with SPLENDA® as he lived with Syndrome X, a pre-diabetic condition that results in having to cut out sugar).
    • AWT delivered the solution to the problem through SPLENDA® recipes and advice featured on the website and promoted through all media messages.
    Jerry Hall interviews/photography
    • H&K identified the media value of Jerry Hall as the ambassador of the campaign, to bring glamour back into baking. The media interest in Jerry and the campaign stretched across news, health, features, diary, recipes and celebrity pages.
    • To help take SPLENDA® onto the lifestyle pages of national press, award winning photographer Matt Hollyoak was appointed to create a completely original and unique image of Jerry Hall poised on top of a golden fairy cake, an idea recommended by HILL & KNOWLTON, amongst other photographic executions. The image acted as a 'shortcut image' for the campaign and contributed to the widespread national pick up of the story.
    Jerry's 'challenge'
    • The campaign culminated with an unique Celebrity Cook-Off Challenge: Jerry was challenged to take on AWT in his restaurant kitchen in a media event to drive coverage.
    • On event night, the 'never seen before' partnership of Jerry Hall and AWT cooking together in the kitchen attracted the paparazzi and secured substantial media partnerships.
    Pre and post publicity of event
    • The creation of the first ever Celebrity Cook-Off event worked effectively in dialing-up the excitement and media 'buzz' around the campaign. The event provided an additional news-hook at the end of the campaign period driving further news and celebrity media coverage.
    • Competitions were set-up prior to the event to drive branded coverage.
    Leveraging recipes
    • The SPLENDA® recipes created for the night provide ongoing collateral for recipe pages and regional press
All results are solely attributable to the PR campaign as there was no other marketing activity taking place at this time:

  • 20% increase in sales month on month
  • 97% increase in calls to the SPLENDA® consumer carline
  • 48% increase in visits to SPLENDA® website
  • 26% of the UK population were aware of PR campaign
All coverage was branded and included the campaign key messages:
  • Independent evaluation showed all coverage to have an overall tonality of 1.88: Favorable
  • Total of 72 editorial items made up as follows:
  • 9 x pieces of coverage on national newspapers; 14 x radio interviews; 3 x trailed TV interviews (visual and verbal brand mentions); 9 x national newspapers; 9 x consumer magazines (including Good Housekeeping cover) ; 3 x London competitions; 17 x regional articles (and ongoing); 8 x websites
  • Average length of prime time national TV coverage was 4 minutes 30 seconds with the length of trails totaling 1 minute 17 seconds
  • Total campaign reach of 146,107,702

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