Vogel’s takes a leaf out of 2011’s book, embraces cricket puns

Back in 2011, Vogel’s received plaudits for a pun-laden outdoor campaign that cheekily tapped into the hype around the Rugby World Cup, even though it wasn’t a sponsor. And it’s trying something similar during the Cricket World Cup. 

Created by Joy, the print and outdoor ads mark a return to above the line work after a series of below-the-line, high-engagement initiatives like Toast of New Zealand, which asked punters to suggest their favourite Vogel’s-related recipes (Matua has also embraced cricket puns and made the run-out joke). 

Vogel’s is a well-loved Kiwi brand, something partially attributable to its quality (typically patriotic) comms over the years and it remains on top in the premium bread stakes. But as well as competition from homebrand breads (as these companies often make bread for the supermarkets, they’re effectively competing against themselves), it’s also facing stiffer competition from George Weston Foods and its agency Colenso BBDO.

Mark Adam, the general manager of the baking division for George Weston Foods, says that the team at Bürgen saw a chink in Vogel’s armour after noticing customers complaining via Facebook that Vogel’s didn’t taste the same anymore.

“We saw that as an opportunity to make a move,” says Adam.

The company responded by to returning to its roots and resurrecting an old loaf, the ‘new’ Original Mixed Grain. And once the initial development was complete, the company asked consumers to compare the two loaves based on moistness, texture, density, grains and smell.

To convince Vogel’s lovers to try a new bread, Burgen used a similar approach to that employed in the Burger King Motel campaign (also by Colenso BBDO), which asked beef lovers to cheat on beef. 

Following the blind taste tests, Bürgen claimed to have won in every measure except for size of slice, with 67 percent of Vogel’s lovers saying they preferred Bürgen original mixed grain loaf.

According to a release, the company saw growth last year when it launched the “Bürgen Virgin” campaign, which encouraged consumers of all ages to break their Bürgen virginity. Following the campaign the company saw a 14 percent increase in dollar value sales (excluding gluten free), making it the fastest growing premium brand. More households were also purchasing Bürgen (82,300 to be exact).

However, to date, the company, still hasn’t been able to topple Vogel’s market supremacy.

Foodstuffs NZ’s PR director Antoinette Laird told The Register that overall bread consumption was flat but sales of white bread had dropped by 11.5 percent over the last year. Gluten free bread sales are still very small, but the segment is growing strongly and its value increased by 20.5 percent over the last year. 

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