Albert Barlett: They Do More

2014 | UK

Albert Bartlett is quite simply the potato expert company. As a family run business it works closely with farmers all around the UK to produce a range of top quality potatoes which are sold into the supermarkets under the Albert Bartlett brand.

Over the past 10 years they have built a brand communication to aid distribution as well as to promote the Albert Bartlett brand and range. However in our modern world of quick cook family meals the UK consumer is not as passionate about potatoes as they once used to be.

The advertising challenge for our campaign was ultimately to drive sales by connecting with and inspiring our consumer to love the potato, be it mashed, chipped, dauphinoise or roasted, we needed consumers to be captivated by the humble spud.

v Over 97,300 clicks Online Activity with 49,992 ad unit expands and 9,181 video views. The traffic is mostly new users and they are engaging with the site and looking at 2-3 pages each visit.


As a nation we do love to cook and be inspired by top chefs.  It has been evident through the UK recession that our love of food and cooking has taken on a new spin. For the home cook, the satisfaction of producing a healthy, tasty homemade dinner at a reasonable price was very appealing.

However the potato seemed to be missing out on the action. Fresh potato sales fell by 4.6% in 2014, whilst other carbs such as rice and pasta were prospering with growth of 9% and 6% respectively (Source;  Kantar World Panel 52 w/e 7 July 2013, from Potato Retail Report Aug 13 / spend data from Nielsen Ad Dynamix Jun 13 / May 14).

What was also concerning is that whilst there is mass consumption of potatoes and popularity amongst all age groups, there was a definite lower consumption level for families who opt for a mix of carbs as part of their weekly meal plan. The insight also highlighted a perception issue - that potatoes took longer to cook and were not that healthy (driven by the anti carb trend). Consumers seemed unable to expand their potato repertoire beyond mashed or roasted.



So with a clear understanding of the challenges we cooked up a 3 tiered strategy to communicate across the UK:

  • Awareness: there was a need to drive awareness of the Albert Bartlett brand and to reinforce the values and quality of the brand
  • Inspiration: we had to inspire our audience and deliver recipe ideas that were tasty, quick and healthy
  • Action:  ultimately we needed to drive sales

Our key consumer was the family group who lead busy lives juggling work, parenting and socialising. Albert Bartlett had to reach out and engage with them when they needed inspiration, so we needed to find the right channels to allow the communication to achieve this.

Looking at our audiences average media day, the key channels they engage with are TV, online and out of home media. The communication had to use these channels in the most effective way to drive the strategy and ultimately our objective of increased sales. 


Our implementation was built to deliver the 3 tiers of our strategy:


Over the past 10 years awareness had been driven by using TV, with Michel Roux Jr and Andrew Fairlie fronting the TV campaign both in 2013 and 2014. The ambassadors ensured we delivered credibility, trust and the heritage of the brand.  The airtime was strategically placed in quality shows and dramas as well as maximising slots in key food shows.


Our audience spent a large proportion of their media time (38%) online each day, and this was one of the main places where they searched for food inspiration.  We created a recipe hub on Albert Bartlett’s website with mouth-watering ways of using this versatile and tasty ingredient.

The online communication plan was compiled of various elements, with two aims.  Firstly to engage with consumers on credible foodie platforms & secondly to drive traffic to the site.   We used 3 key platforms - food channels, YouTube & bloggers to help drive the family food lovers to the website and connect with the recipe ideas. All the creative work was aligned to the TV commercial to ensure synergy of the communication. 


Increased sales was ultimately our core KPI and it was evident that whilst most shoppers will have ‘potatoes’ on their shopping list, we needed to ensure at that moment of truth in the grocery aisle, they pick up a bag of Albert Bartlett potatoes. We selected digital supermarket 6 sheets to deliver that final reminder; again creative was aligned closely to the TV execution. The added movement of digital is proven to provide greater cut through as consumer walk through the door.


v Over 97,300 clicks Online Activity with 49,992 ad unit expands and 9,181 video views. The traffic is mostly new users and they are engaging with the site and looking at 2-3 pages each visit.
l Value share increased from 4.2% to 5.2% The 12 week figures directly correlate to when we were running our ATL advertising. These results are excellent considering category value has fallen by circa 19% across the same period.
£ 6.2 million Rooster potatoes were sold This was a 24% increase year on year
Q 23% Unprompted brand awareness Shifting from 10% prior to the campaign
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