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Eating Humble Pie? How clever Tweeting ensured success for cooker brand Belling


By The Drum Team, Editorial

October 27, 2011 | 7 min read

Tweet Pie: The World’s Shortest Recipe Book, was the result of a social media campaign delivered by Umpf for British cooker brand Belling. The campaign has been nominated in the Best Use of Twitter category at the Social Buzz Awards, which will take place at Wembley Stadium on 1 December.

Executive SummaryFifty recipes, written in 140 characters max and crowdsourced entirely from Twitter – welcome to Tweet Pie, the World’s Shortest Recipe Book by Belling.Earlier this year British cooker brand Belling tasked retained agency Umpf with creating a stand out social media campaign to drive awareness amongst the Twitter community’s cooks and foodies. They were also keen to include a CSR angle in this first foray into social media. The idea – is it possible to abbreviate recipes into Twitter format – i.e. just 140 characters? Umpf worked out that with a little creativity and clever abbreviations, it was, and so issued a call out to the Twitter community to tweet their Twitter recipe (twecipe) suggestions, using #TweetPie, with the chance to be included in the ‘World’s Shortest Recipe Book’. To give the campaign a CSR angle, Umpf linked up with young and innovative charity FoodCycle to receive all proceeds from the sale of the book. Once all of the twecipes had been shortlisted, Umpf launched an online competition to crowdsource illustrations to feature in the book. The winner was chosen via a Facebook vote. Over 200 twecipes were submitted to the campaign, including suggestions from Edd Kimber, winner of Great British Bake Off 2010, Brian Turner and Love Food. 92 illustrations were submitted to the crowdsourcing competition with over 3,000 votes cast on Facebook. stats showed an exposure of almost 600,000 impressions for key terms such as ‘#TweetPie’, ‘Belling/FoodCycle recipe book’ etc. Almost 100 pieces of coverage have been achieved to date from the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail in the UK to a broadcast piece on CNN. The book went on sale on 22nd July 2011 with hundreds of books sold to date. Such has been its success, Belling’s CEO has asked Umpf to launch a series of Tweet Pie books.BackgroundLong-established British cooker appliance brand Belling wanted to use its first foray into social media to help drive brand awareness among consumers who saw themselves as cooks; repositioning Belling as a kitchen appliance brand for cooks, rather than just a functional cooking device. Umpf, Belling’s retained PR and social media agency, was tasked with bringing this concept to life in the online space in March this year. Umpf’s campaign was simple in its theme, but cleverly executed, with an idea that created real buzz among not just consumers with a passion for cooking, but restaurateurs and professional chefs – all through social media and all on a shoe-string budget.Client Objectives
  • Belling cookers are seen as functional ovens, and Umpf was tasked with creating a social media campaign which started an online dialogue between Belling and consumers who were enthusiastic about cooking; thereby repositioning the brand from being merely functional appliances, to ones for people who cook
  • Belling was keen for its campaign to have a corporate social responsibility angle
Strategy and tacticsUmpf’s strategy was to use a very obvious theme: recipes. Recipes are intrinsically linked to cookers and, of course, to cooks ie those who want to create meals, rather than the person who simply heats food up. The clever part was aligning recipes to social media. Umpf worked out that it was possible to write a recipe within a 140-character Tweet ie a ‘Twecipe’ (‘Twitter’ and ‘recipe’). And if a recipe could be generated in a Tweet, then an entirely new recipe could be created using Twecipes.What gave the campaign the buzz it received in food circles was crowdsourcing the recipes from people interested in cooking. And this was certain way to achieve the brief’s primary objective. To complete the objectives, Umpf proposed that all proceeds – not just profits – be donated to charity. Umpf researched food-related charities finally settling on FoodCycle, which redirects edible surplus among people affected by food poverty. Rather than be seen as a social media stunt by Belling, Umpf created a ‘reason’ for the book’s existence with some clever research. Analysing the recipes of top celebrity chefs, it found Delia Smith to be Britain’s wordiest chef – using almost three times more words in her recipes than her celebrity chef counterparts.This research, along with the launch of the search to find 140-character recipes, was given to food bloggers with the hashtag #TweetPie. A version was also given to the marketing and food trade media.Umpf encouraged further entries by giving away four Baby Belling cookers randomly to people who entered a Twecipe. This allowed seeding of the campaign on leading competition forums such as and engaged with leading food blogger Craig Dugas who agreed to help judge the entries to create a final 50 that would be included in the book.Once the recipes had been shortlisted, Umpf kept news of the campaign fresh with another social media idea. Rather than use existing, free or low-cost images to illustrate the book, Umpf ran a competition through a design social network to produce recipe illustrations. More than 92 designers submitted entries.However – and what Umpf believes was a clever twist – rather than picking its favourite designs, Umpf passed the decision-making over to the public. To maximise engagement, this was done via a public vote on Belling’s Facebook page.Finally, in the spirit of this online campaign, Umpf proposed that the book would not be sold in shops, but on eBay. On July 22, 2011 the first batch of books arrived from the printers and ‘Tweet Pie: The World’s Shortest Recipe Book’ was born.Results
  • The initial launch alone generated almost 50 pieces of online coverage in targeted food and marketing-related sites/blogs linking Belling with ‘cooks’, ‘chefs’ and ‘recipes’
  • This generated an instant buzz and the newly-created hashtag #Tweetpie was mentioned more than 1,000 times
  • The book launch received an additional 20 pieces of coverage including Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail online
  • Not including online media coverage, and just measuring Twitter, stats showed an exposure of almost 600,000 impressions for key terms such as ‘#TweetPie’, ‘Belling/FoodCycle recipe book’ etc
  • Almost 200 unique Twecipes were submitted – no mean feat given the difficulty of containing a full recipe within 140 characters. These included Twecipes from restaurateurs, Edd Kimber, winner of the BBC series ‘The Great British Bake Off’, and celebrity chef Brian Turner
  • 92 designers submitted entries for the book’s illustrations
  • More than 3,000 votes were cast on Belling’s Facebook page
  • Facebook fans increased by 360%; Twitter followers by 115%
The results demonstrate that Umpf’s campaign has fulfilled its core objective of engaging and interacting with consumers who cook, directly through social media. And not just consumers who cook, but restaurateurs, professional chefs, food writers and foodie bloggers.The link with FoodCycle has been very positive for both parties. Belling has forged long-term links with a very worthy charity and the two brands have already benefitted from the positive coverage outlined above, and through a huge amount of social media brand awareness and engagement. Client Testimonial:“Tweet Pie has been a social media triumph. The campaign engaged not just with consumers who cook, but restaurateurs, professional chefs, food writers and bloggers, generating almost 600,000 impressions for key terms. Media coverage has genuinely boosted Belling brand awareness not just in the UK, but around the world and our alliance with FoodCycle has been a great CSR exercise for the business.” Jane Rylands, Brand Manager for BellingThis case study has been submitted by Umpf as part of the entry process to the Social Buzz Awards. The campaign has been nominated in the Best Use of Twitter category.

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