Case Study

Pilgrim’s Choice – Macho Cheese

When low fat cheese first arrived on
 the scene in the 1980s it tasted pretty bad. Pilgrims Choice had perfected the recipe with its new Lighter cheddar range but needed to tackle this old-fashioned view of cheese. Of course, when we heard 80s cheese, we thought of Sinitta. Wouldn’t you?

The Aem process

Our audience analysis of Sun mums showed that they had a preconceived idea of low-fat cheese (‘horrible’, ‘bland’, ‘fake’, and so on). We needed to change this. Our emotional profile also showed that they wanted something warm, positive, and funny. If we could make them smile, half the battle was won.

The idea

Enter Sinitta. We developed ‘Things Change’, a highly targeted content-led campaign that took Sinitta’s classic 80s disco track ‘So Macho’, and placed it in the hands of British composer Tony Britten. We re-recorded the hit single with a 25-piece orchestra and Sinitta to make it more contemporary and exemplify how things can change for the better.

The team created three teaser videos to promote the re-recording of Sinitta’s classic. The video series was then published across News UK’s online and online platforms including, Virgin Radio and via Unruly’s online distribution platform. This was accompanied by a mix of print and online content featured in titles such as Fabulous Magazine and editorial and branded content in The Sun’s daily showbiz column, Bizarre.

Virgin Radio also played a huge role in the campaign, with DJ Jamie East promoting 
the cheesy (but oh-so-tasteful) classics on-air and via Virgin Radio’s Twitter page. His popular segment ‘Still Got It’ seamlessly tied in messaging from the Pilgrims Cheese ‘Things Change’ campaign every Thursday.

The results

The campaign smashed its target metrics, and significantly shifted people’s perceptions of Pilgrims Choice’s lighter cheese.

In fact, there was a 38% increase in readers saying that “Pilgrims Choice is different to other Cheeses” with over 65% of news UK’s audience agreeing with this statement after the campaign. The campaign saw a 138% uplift in purchase intent among key audience segments, and nearly a quarter (24%) of News UK’s audience (weekly readers of the Sun and Virgin Radio listeners) went on to buy Pilgrims Choice.

The three videos were viewed more than 1,258,000 times (an over deliver
of 26% compared with the campaign’s KPIs), achieving a staggering 630,000 completed views (up to 30 seconds), with 41% of viewers watching the entire ad. It was delivered to 8,010 occasional buyers of Pilgrims Choice cheese, as defined by Unruly Custom Audiences, a key audience to help increase the frequency of purchase.

There was also a 64% increase in top
 of mind awareness of Pilgrims Choice. But more importantly, there was a huge 217% increase amongst News UK’s audience saying that Pilgrims Choice was their favourite cheese, highlighting a strong shift in people’s perception of the brand.

Gemma Delaney, Rocket, said: “The Bridge Studio at News UK addressed each challenge, excelled in execution and surpassed our expectations.”

  • 38% increase in readers saying that “Pilgrims Choice is different to other Cheeses”
  • 138% uplift in purchase intent among key audience segments
  • 2m sales of Pilgrims Choice cheese from weekly readers of the Sun and Virgin Radio listeners as a result of the campaign
  • 1.3m views with 41% of viewers watching the entire video
  • 10.4% uplift in UK low-fat cheese market in the quarter