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La Famiglia Rana - the pasta experts

La Famiglia Rana - the pasta experts

Posted on: December 9, 2020

How Italy’s ‘King of Tortellini’ won the hearts of UK Northerners with a regional TV campaign

Key Points

  • Rana’s challenge was to shift the UK public’s opinion of fresh tortellini and reach their key distribution area in the North.
  • By developing a Rana-specific target audience of ‘Conscious Convenience’, Total Media were able to inform their TV plan.
  • Rana more than doubled their sales target for the campaign period

The Challenge

Italian fresh pasta brand, La Famiglia Rana, was founded in 1962 by acclaimed ‘King of Tortellini’ Giovanni Rana. In 2018, the brand worked with behavioural planning agency Total Media to relaunch in the UK, aiming to shift the public’s perception of fresh pasta.  The UK generally failed to grasp the role of fresh tortellini. A category dominated by look-a-like, own label options had generated a belief that supermarket tortellini was a quick and cheap, uninspiring dinner option.

Despite nationwide distribution through Sainsburys, Morrisons and Asda, over 50% of Rana’s sales were being driven solely in London and the South East. They needed to create a greater spread of national sales in order to sustain long term growth and to support supermarkets with a larger northern footprint (such as Morrisons & Asda).

The TV Solution

Rana’s historical media mix had heavily leaned on out of home. Limited distribution had meant Rana felt TV was not the right channel for them. However, considering the increased national distribution and the need to drive greater sales in the northern focused supermarkets, Total Media convinced Rana it was time for TV.

They used Thinkbox’s Profit Ability research to demonstrate TV’s effectiveness in delivering efficient ROI on a humbler budget and TV’s unrivalled ability to deliver short term profit in the FMCG space.

Convincing Rana of TV’s ability to drive short term ROI wasn’t enough. Budget levels and an objective that specifically focused on the North meant Total Media needed to conduct audience research to show that a regional campaign would deliver cut through with northern shoppers.

They conducted Touchpoints analysis which confirmed their argument. TV was the perfect environment to reach northern shoppers. It showed that in the North, a larger proportion of the population spend more time with TV. By overlaying TGI data specific to northern Morrisons and Asda shoppers, they found that they too consume a higher number of hours of TV and VOD than the UK average.

By combining the Thinkbox research and the audience analysis, Total Media were able to give Rana confidence that a regional northern TV campaign would deliver against the objectives and achieve the needed increase in northern sales.

The Plan

Total Media used TGI to create a Rana-specific audience of ‘shoppers who make food purchases based on convenience but are also mindful of the quality and freshness of ingredients’, epitomising Rana’s selling point as a fresh, quality, convenient option. This audience was called ‘Conscious Convenience’.

Research showed that of the ‘Conscious Convenience’ audience living in the North, 60.6% of them regularly shop in Morrisons or Asda, proving this audience was perfect against which to base the TV plan.

The ‘Conscious Convenience’ audience skewed ABC1, slightly female and split evenly across age demographics. This led Total Media to choose ABC1 Adults as their buying audience, offering broad reach and access to the biggest awareness driving shows.

Given its ability to reach ABC1 adults and its impressive schedule during May, 70% of the budget was allocated to ITV. The strong investment into ITV enabled Total Media to negotiate Rana spots in Coronation Street and the BGT semi-final. These two shows were the highest performing for the northern ‘Conscious Consumer’ audience during the campaign period and created the desired impact.

Channel 4 also indexes highly for the audience and was allocated 20% of the TV budget. Key shows included Sunday Brunch, The Last Leg and Location, Location, Location. The remaining budget was placed into Adsmart from Sky using their 1st party data to identify households in the region.

Audience analysis showed that the ‘Conscious Convenience’ audience was 18% more likely to watch Broadcaster VOD than the average UK person. With that in mind, regional Broadcaster VOD was used across ITV Hub, All 4 and Sky to help reach lighter TV viewers in the area less likely to be exposed to the TV ad.

Regional press and out of home were used to support the TV activity.


  • Across the campaign period, the sales uplift of Rana more than doubled the target and the uplifting effect of the campaign continued for weeks afterwards.
  • Correlation analysis demonstrated the power of TV. Retailers stocking Rana that fell within the exposed BARB area, saw a significant increase in sales vs. the baseline.
  • As a result, Rana increased investment into a fully national campaign in 2020.
  • The campaign won ‘Best small budget use of TV’ in the TV Planning Awards 2020

Using the Northern TV regions was ideal to support an important area of supermarkets stocking our products, but also provide a clear view of the impact on our business. Needless to say, the business has been happy with the results, seeing clear and strong uplifts on base; the growth of La Famiglia Rana has accelerated. As a result, we have been encouraged to take a bigger step and increase the investment to a national campaign in 2020.

Stephen Gregory Marketing Director, La Famiglia Rana


Sector: FMCG

BrandLa Famiglia Rana

Campaign objectives: To shift perceptions of the brand and drive regional sales

Target Audience: ‘Conscious Consumers’, ABC1 Adults

Budget: approx. £450,000

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 6th May to 6th June 2019

TV Usage: 30” spot

Creative Agency: Villager

Media Agency:  Total Media


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