Charlie Bigham's push to convince the anti-ready-meal foodies

Charlie Bigham’s push to convince the anti-ready-meal foodies
The Media Plan

Ready-meal brand Charlie Bigham’s has leveraged national broadcast and regional targeting in its latest campaign to help sway “a relatively niche audience” to purchase its products.

Independent agency Electric Glue handled media for the campaign, “Handmade in Charlie Bigham’s Kitchen, Cooked in Yours”, which launched in January. It sought to address challenges including convincing a certain segment of consumers who would “never buy a ready meal”.

In 2024, Charlie Bigham’s has “upweighted media investment” to drive its strategic growth objective of £40m, or an increase of almost 50%, in sales by the 2027 financial year.

Activity targeted a core audience of “self-confessed foodies” who preferred to make things from scratch, knew where their food came from but liked an occasional night off from cooking. The media mix included TV for the first time, broadcaster VOD (BVOD), audio and OOH to drive reach among these core audiences.

Refined targeting

The main part of the TV plan was Channel 4 airtime in “contextually ripe environments”, including Food Unwrapped, Jamie Cooks the Mediterranean and Sunday Brunch, which “significantly over-index” against the target audiences.

The spot featured an animated film, voiced by founder Charlie Bigham and broadcaster Richard Osman, with creative by VCCP London.

Electric Glue refined its programming targeting on linear TV through research that discovered viewers of food content on Channel 4 also “over-indexed” on travel and property programmes in the portfolio.

In addition, regional linear spots were used to “maximise impact” and “minimise wastage” among “a relatively niche group”. Similarly, on BVOD and YouTube on connected TVs, Charlie Bigham’s could “show up big” to these audiences through specific targeting in key contexts with a high proportion of viewing time.

Driving inspiration

The TV work was supported by a mix of national audio and OOH, upweighted in London and the south.

For OOH, 48-sheets across roadside, rail and Underground were used to “drive mealtime inspiration” when audiences were out on their travels, while it also included sites within a reasonable drive time to Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco to deliver another prompt of purchase.

In addition, Charlie Bigham’s partnered with Global on Newslink, a premium 30-second radio spot around news content that broadcasts to 29m people a week across 273 stations.

Pippa Glucklich, CEO of Electric Glue, said: “This is a historic moment for Charlie Bigham’s as it looks to go to the next level of reach to tell the story of the brand.”

While the campaign is still live, early key performance indicators of ad awareness have seen a “positive shift” within the target audience and regions following the first round of activity at double the national average.

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