Weetabix – SkyView TV Effectiveness

Over the past few years the UK breakfast cereal market has seen continual growth and has increased in size by 17% (Mintel)…

Field in the sun

Between May 2006 and January 2007, Weetabix ran four highly intensive bursts of their ‘Weetabix Week’ TV campaign, with the aim of encouraging people to try Weetabix at different times and in different ways. The campaign comprised of two complimentary creative strands. The first showing topping suggestions for Weetabix; the second was a documentary style ad, showing real people giving the ‘Weetabix Week’ a go. The TV campaign ran on all major commercial TV channels.

Alongside the obvious sales objectives, Weetabix and their media agency Walker Media also set out to gain a deeper understanding of the campaign’s effectiveness – the kind of understanding that could be used to make future media deployment even more effective. SkyView was identified as the research tool that could yield those kind of learnings.

Why SkyView?

SkyView is a panel of 33,000 Sky homes that have their TV viewing constantly monitored via their Sky set-top boxes. 7,000 of these homes are also on the TNS Worldpanel and have their weekly FMCG purchasing records captured. Combined, this generates a powerful and truly unique single source of viewing and purchasing data.


What was the campaign’s effect on sales?
The campaign generated a very healthy sales uplift of 10.8% for the core brand (TNS – campaign average). This compares very favourably with other FMCG brands measured by TNS – the average uplift being 5.2% from 4 weeks of continuous activity.

Understanding the campaign – immediacy of response
The most effective window for driving sales is undoubtedly within 7 days – i.e 54% of incremental sales for Weetabix came within 7 days of viewing the ad. However, when compared to other FMCG brands, the advertising for Weetabix seemed to endure for much longer, with a significant proportion of sales effects still occurring 28 days after ad exposure.
What was the most effective frequency?
The combination of the ad campaign and in-store promotion wielded the most immediate impact on sales, with uplift occurring after seeing the ad just once. Whilst only 1 exposure to the ad is required to prompt purchase, between 2 and 4 exposures can deliver sales at full price before wastage starts to occur.
Understanding the campaign – effective frequency
SkyView is able to identify those that bought the product whilst on promotion and those that bought at full price and their corresponding levels of exposure. A key learning for Weetabix is that 1 exposure is highly effective for sales during periods of promotion, whereas 2-4 exposures may be required to drive full price sales.

Understanding the campaign – who responded to the ads
SkyView shows that the TV campaign attracted a wide range of buyers, both young and old. Most importantly for Weetabix, the advertising prompted new and lapsed buyers back to the brand.

When we look a bit closer at the characteristics of the people that responded we see that they tend to buy larger amounts of Weetabix and are generally heavier viewers of digital TV channels. Attitudinally, they claim to be interested in quality brands and see advertising as a useful source of information. These are examples of the kind of information that will inform Walker Media’s future targeting strategy.

Understanding the campaign – long term effectiveness
Not only did the campaign encourage new customers and churned customers to return, but 10 weeks after the campaign had finished, TNS were recording an 8% increase in the average weight of Weetabix purchase amongst those that responded to the ads.

Benefits and outcome

The single source methodology of SkyView allowed Weetabix, for the first time, to assess the effectiveness of their advertising amongst actual viewers of the TV campaign.  The research findings not only helped to confirm the efficacy of Walker Media’s planning strategy but also would become one of the key components in the future planning and buying of Weetabix campaigns.  In fact, the ‘Weetabix Week’ has returned to our screens twice since the research, with SkyView continuing to be part of the planning and buying process.

“The SkyView ad effectiveness project gave us never before available insights into Weetabix buyers’ responsiveness to TV advertising. More specifically, it gave us an invaluable understanding of the recency effect and the optimum frequency of exposure.”

– Jon Horrocks, Managing Partner, Walker Media

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