Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year

Winner: Hunt for the nation's herb heroes, Mustard Communications

Filming for the Hunt for the nation's herb heroes campaign by Mustard Communications - image: Mustard Communications
Filming for the Hunt for the nation's herb heroes campaign by Mustard Communications - image: Mustard Communications

Brush in a few keystrokes on a computer - as thousands of people have - and there you are at www.fresh-herbs.co.uk. This takes you to the heart of the Hunt for the Nation's Herb Heroes, a PR push to encourage more people to use fresh herbs as part of their weekly cooking, rather than reserving them for special events.

To develop the campaign, The British Herb Trade Association called up Mustard Communications. Together, they came up with a digital competition, inviting people to create four-minute video clips of themselves cooking with herbs and adding a pinch of exhibitionism - an idea embraced by one entrant in particular who threw together a barbecue in a wood. Once uploaded, the public were invited to vote for their favourite, half a dozen of which had to out-cook each other in a final with top chef John Torode.

A dedicated Facebook page gave the drive added momentum and the competition was picked up on Twitter, in magazines and national newspapers. Visitor numbers to the website jumped from fewer than 600 to 3,500, with Tweets hitting 60,000, one of them from John's Masterchef co-host Greg Wallace. Hundreds of people, meanwhile, followed the competition hopefuls on YouTube.

But capers with coriander count for nothing without results at the till, especially when you throw a PR fee of thousands of pounds into the mix. Nielsen data revealed that sales of fresh herbs in supermarkets rose almost five per cent in value and 4.5 per cent in volume. Values and volume for cut herbs, meanwhile, went up nearly 10 per cent.

"Many website competitions offer big prizes but little challenge," says the team. "But this had cooking at its heart and tapped into the huge enthusiasm for reality TV. It offered incentive for entrants to encourage family and friends to cast votes and build impetus. And above all, it was a bit of fun."

Highly Commended

Back to Black, Blackcurrant Foundation

Finalists

Cut Your Own, The Bransford Webbs Plant Co

Tendercare

Coronation Street Roses, John Woods Nurseries

Pro-Tech Marketing supplies a wide range of equipment to the horticultural sector, including Spanish tunnels, French tunnels, Cozy tunnels, greenhouses, protective netting, polythene and harvesting rigs. It is the market-leader in the UK for table-tops and also supplies high-performance bed formers for strawberries and asparagus.


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