Hansel and Gretel pay attention – Tate & Lyle have created a better option than that candy house in the forest.
Tate & Lyle, the UK’s biggest cane sugar brand, created a deliciously decadent Tasting House to showcase their new ‘taste experience’ range of golden and brown sugars inspired by flavours around the world.
The house was open for one day only – 20th March 2013 – to 50 lucky fans of Tate & Lyle’s social media communities plus baking bloggers. The activity created PR exposure to market their new range of sugars to discerning baking enthusiasts.
The food artists filled the Victorian house in London’s Soho with edible furnishings – victoria sponge cake cushions, macaroon handrails, even treasure chests full of golden cakey coins. The treats demonstrated the versatility of the different types of sugars whilst providing inspiration for how they can be used. There were also tasting sessions with food experts to introduce the USP of the new sugar range – that the new sugar grain size allows it to carry more flavour.
It took a team of 14 cake makers 2,000 hours to bake and 900 hours to decorate – and more than 600 kilos of sugar. (As a sugar fiend who has been known to subject myself to sugar-induced migraines it’s a good thing I wasn’t there.) Eight rooms were filled with delights, with each room taking a different country and sugar as its theme; a British Golden Syrup room, South Pacific-inspired room with a massive Easter Island statue cake, and other exciting creations.
Social media amplification
Tickets were given out to their fans using two competitions – one for a chance to win one of 50 pairs of tickets to attend the opening evening and another for the chance to stay the night in the Tasting House. Baking bloggers were invited to attend so they could blog about the experience, thus amplifying the activity to their followers.
The Eat Your Heart Out food artists also promoted the event on Facebook to build hype, posting images of their delicious creations as they finished each room.
▪ Create an experience that is relevant to the brand or product range – sounds obvious, but often experiential activity isn’t truly linked. This is a great example of an activity that showcases a new product range in a fun, imaginative and memorable way.
▪ Amplification is key – experiential activities don’t have to target a mass audience directly to be effective if they are promoted correctly – in this case by creating a highly targeted activity by working with high profile food artists, attracting baking bloggers and fans to share the content on the brand’s behalf.
▪ Could be used as the creative direction for a sampling tour to take the activity to a wider audience – e.g. the stand could be a ‘room’ in the Tasting House with yummy goodies to eat made with each type of sugar.