It’s the ninth time we’ve partnered with Woolworths at the iconic Sydney Royal Easter Show to deliver an unforgettable, flavour-filled adventure for families and foodies. Here’s how we dialled up the fun and freshness.
Complacency. Resting on your laurels. Getting comfortable. Call it what you will, but if you aren’t striving to improve and asking tough questions, it’s one of the quickest ways to become mediocre. Bland. Beige. That’s precisely what you don’t want to be used to describe your event.
The challenge is always to reinvent and evolve but without losing your core identity. So, how do you host and present an activation at Australia’s biggest show for the ninth time in a row but still offer something new, vibrant, creative, and of course, fresh? This big brand challenge for today’s fresh food people, one of Australia’s biggest and most-loved retailers, didn’t end there – it also needed to reflect the times and be relatable. The people of Australia, like the rest of the world, are working with tighter budgets and greater financial pressure. There’s also the rising emphasis on sustainability and wasting less, not just in food prep and nutrition at home but also in how we created this adventure at the Royal Easter Show (RES). In short, they want more from their hard-earned moola. Woolworths provides tasty, healthy meals that are affordable and easy to make, so the Royal Easter Show needed to celebrate and share it.
To make this work, we sat down and held a creative workshop. Our brief was to prepare a quick, easy and home cooked meal using the best ingredients and industry leading-talent.
Here’s our recipe for success at Australia’s biggest food & flavour festival:
1. Craft an integrated, people-led concept that leverages hospitality.
We brought it back to the most critical factor: the feelings of hospitality and wholesome family care through food. It’s one of the most powerful ways of showing love to friends and family, and it’s our secret ingredient. To make this work for RES23, we created a warm,comforting home environment, and invited customers into the heart of this home to showcase how easy it can be to eat well, waste less & save more at Woolies. The result is the Woolworths Kitchen, a celebration of seasonal flavours and a creative workshop filled with interactive fresh ideas. This experience encourages guests to return to basics by empowering them with the tools and skills they need to make healthy, tasty and affordable meals. It’s where families of all backgrounds can get together, laugh, enjoy some mouthwatering meals and be inspired. They’ll leave as savvier shoppers by learning the best tips and tricks to make their money go further and make shopping baskets last longer when making meals at home.
2. Bring together everyone’s favourite festival chef and seasonal, local ingredients.
This culinary adventure relied on engagement, so we built the educational sessions using two of the most successful broadcasting formats: a high-production cooking show and a fast-paced, interactive game show. All of this hinged on talent and technology, and to lead the combination, we recruited the charismatic Rupert to be the host chef and star. Every day of the fair was filled with 15-minute-long sessions, restricted to 100 people, that showcased versatile, easy-to-make recipes for busy people. To drive home the relationship between the Kitchen and the Woolworths Worth initiatives, we included Woolworths Branded products (Own Brand), including the in-house Red and Yellow products and the famous Odd Bunch range to help drive costs down. Our goal: create mouthwatering meal for under $5 per serving. We almost halved that by whipping up a $2.70 per serving recipe!
3. Pour in heaps of engagement with quizzes and gamification.
To drive interactivity, we crafted a pre-festival survey across Australia that contained three key questions, each one focusing on a Woolworths initiative – case in point: what is Australia’s favourite fruit or vegetable? Then in our Kitchen sessions, we tasked the audience to guess the most common answers. Two families in the audience were selected and brought up and they had to buzz in to guess the top answers in a high-paced, gameshow format. The family that answered the most correct answers first for the three questions won a Metro60 voucher. The results for each question was shown on large screens and our host-with-the-most Rupert would then use the opportunity to share more details about each money-saving initiative. One example: did you know Woolies sell irregular shaped fruits and vegetables called Odd Bunch? These are more affordable and help you get your Woolies worth. We also used catchbox mics for the first time (these can be safely thrown around) to help people to share how they make their own home meals go further. This created a fun, happy vibe with aunties, uncles, mums and dads sharing their kitchen secrets.
4. Sprinkle in spice for even more flavour.
We relied on some of our favourite marketing tricks to amplify all this fresh goodness. The first: we worked closely with a Woolworths ambassador, the talented TikTok sensation Liam Kirley, with his content strategy for RES23. His behind-the-scenes take as a Woolworths employee is flavoured with his unique brand of humour and entertainment, making him the ideal influencer to partner with for RES23. Liam captured and shared behind-the-scenes content before the show to drum up excitement and brought his own nan to the show to capture fun, quirky, wholesome RES fun! We also added a QR code-driven call to action to sign up for digital showbags with Fresh Ideas and ‘Get your Woolies Worth’ content and chances to win prizes and $100 gift cards. The Because team also aligned the Woolworths Kitchen with their ATL campaigns by running the existing content on our screens, including a session introduction from a Fresh Ideas Expert.
DELIVERING FRESHER VALUE:
The success of Woolworths at RES23 came down to a single-minded focus on customer value. We needed to make it easier for customers to get their Woolies Worth by making healthier, tastier food in more affordable and sustainable ways and to celebrate Australian fresh food at its best through seasonality and provenance. This platform didn’t rely on mass sampling and traditional activations to earn high attendance and engagement; the team combined talent and tech to create interactive, inspiring high-value events. The result? The best, freshest RES23 ever.
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