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Emotions and feelings: missing ingredients to your BBQ campaign

By Katy Howell, chief executive

immediate future


The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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May 29, 2019 | 5 min read

With another hot summer predicted by the Met Office, there's every chance that we will be cooking our food outdoors a lot.

Immediate Future remind marketers to make the most of barbecue season this summer.

Immediate Future remind marketers to make the most of barbecue season this summer.

Cue a seasonal topic of conversation – the BBQ! We talk plenty, not just around the BBQ, but about the BBQ too. We took a closer look at these conversations in our latest social report Sun’s Out, Buns Out by reviewing the UK’s BBQ chatter across 12 months of social data.

We uncovered many key insights and nuggets for your delectation but one of the key stand-outs is whilst our conversations centre around the emotional event that is the BBQ, this is generally not reflected in brand and social marketing. Surprising when we consider that brands today are building more emotion into their campaigns to reach their consumers; empathy and understanding being key drivers.

So what do we talk about?

Well no surprises, food and weather are the big drivers of the BBQ conversation. As is the weekend or mention of specific BBQ events, like parties. Dig a bit deeper and chicken and sauces receive stand out, regular mentions. Getting hungry yet?

The ‘F’ words – fun and food

But we don’t just talk about what we are going to eat and whether the sun will be out. We also see a lot of emotion in the conversations that are being had too. Mentions of good, love and great mean posts are filled with human positivity, tying into the fact that we know BBQs are a social occasion.

Sharing with friends and family

All of this reflects that the people side is all important too. Whilst individual’s postings are up, we like to share too – up 311% YOY – as well as replying to posts – up 232% YOY. Over a third of posts are retweeted, revealing that the BBQ topic is connecting audiences (friends and family) who are willing to join in.

A side order of how we feel!

So we have seen what the consumers are talking about and feeling by analysing their conversations. But when we take a step back and look at how brands are promoting their BBQ-friendly products, in conjunction with the social data we have reviewed, BBQ content seems to be missing this side of the conversation entirely. Connection to the people vs the transaction is where engagement, then sales, will happen; emotional storytelling is just as important for a seasonal event and this simply isn’t happening.

What does this mean for brands who want to join the BBQ conversation?

Ads and organic content should be less about the product and more about the experience and feeling you get from hosting and delighting your guests. BBQ oriented ads have the propensity to tug at the heart strings if done right.

This can be achieved by making ads or producing content that feel like a story vs package or product shout outs. Explore the emotional connections of the BBQ – the who, the where, they why – versus just focusing on the facts.

And ensure you make the content relevant by discussing the trending foods and aligning with the audiences’ preferences – being flexible to the audience you want to engage with – is also key to a successful campaign.

Consider the sharing triggers too. We spotted a few in this top-line research (we suspect there are more) and brands should plan posts around them that encourage advocacy – spreading the word across interest groups. Foster an atmosphere that encourages sharing memories and feelings from your audience, versus you just talking at your audience to truly connect and drive loyalty.

Download immediate future’s latest social report Sun’s Out, Buns Out here.

Katy Howell is the CEO at Immediate Future.


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immediate future

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