Pukka Pies packs a punch with clever use of TV


Key Points

  • Pukka wanted to reposition the brand into grocery retail
  • With TV as the lead medium, they tapped into consumers’ mood states
  • As a result, awareness, brand equity and sales increased

The Challenge

Pukka Pies has been a family owned business in the ‘Food Service’ industry for over 50 years.  However, a strategic review of the business in 2016 reviewed some issues that needed addressing. One of these being that the niche food service sector of fish and chips shops and sports stadia was in decline. Another was that there were negative perceptions of the brand as a ‘chip shop pie’ or for ‘dad after a few beers’ or that the brand was outdated. An additional challenge was that the current grocery channel was dominated by own label.

In 2017, their aim was to relaunch the nation’s favourite pie brand by:

  • Driving awareness of Pukka’s new product and new campaign
  • Repositioning Pukka Pies as a great quality, great tasting pie, perfect for a convenient evening meal
  • Exploding sales into the Grocery sector
  • Driving penetration -1m new shoppers (by 2020)

The Solution

For its first foray into grocery retail, Pukka created a unique product line to meet the specific needs of this environment. The result was Pukka’s ‘Best Ever’ range and alongside a new logo and packaging, Pukka had new assets for the relaunch.

Pukka Pies worked with their media agency, PHD, to develop their strategy. They decided on a target audience of families, more specifically, main shoppers with children, as they believed this audience posed the biggest opportunity. They decided to target these families by positioning Pukka as the main meal on a school night.

PHD knew they needed a solution that would deliver huge impact and land Pukka as the number one pie. To relaunch the new brand proposition and do it at scale meant TV would be the lead medium. TV would provide the mass reach needed for the brand relaunch and would also generate the impact required as well as brand fame. TV would have the power to make Pukka famous for the right reasons and challenge current perceptions of the brand. Finally, they knew that TV would drive sales and deliver a return on investment in excess of other media.

Quiet Storm, Pukka’s creative agency, came up with a compelling 30 second TV ad, based on the idea that whatever the little ups and downs and surprises the day may bring, you can be reassured that with the good-mood feeling of a warming pie on your plate…’Everything’s Pukka’. The ad featured a mum sitting at home, tucking into her delicious pie, completely lost in her moment, despite her family bombarding her with their bad news.

The Plan

PHD’s plan for Pukka utilised the full channel portfolios of ITV, Channel 4 and Sky as it allowed them to drive scale at a national level. The advert ran in prestigious shows such as Coronation Street, The Voice and The Jump.

They decided to run the campaign in February, in order to exploit the positive correlation between cold weather and comfort food sales, but also to catch shoppers who were falling off the post-new year’s diet.

They used Touchpoints analysis to tap into consumer’s mood states across the week. This led to an upweight on Wednesdays, as this is when the audience is most stressed and in need of inspiration and Fridays, as this is when the audience is most tired and so more likely to be relaxing at home.

In addition, they were able to take advantage of other broadcast opportunities such as being part of a special Mother’s Day themed break on ITV and featuring as a prize on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. This placement added significant value as well as talkability.

Furthermore, they advertised on VOD platforms such as ITV Hub, All 4 and Sky Go in order to access an array of different programmes such as Coronation Street, ‘foodie’ content on All 4 and TV Box Sets on Sky Go. Almost half the VoD budget was spent on broadcaster VoD, which allowed Pukka to bolster the reach and frequency of the linear TV campaign and tap into more appointment-to-view programming.

Working in synergy with the TV campaign by using the same visual, they used outdoor media – static, digital and point of sale around the top four supermarkets.


Pukka’s foray into grocery retail has been a phenomenal success:

  • 82% of target audience saw the TV ad
  • +19% spontaneous awareness post campaign
  • +11% increase in preference
  • Shoppers 2.5x more likely to purchase Pukka Pies vs. nearest brand competitor
  • +23% non-promotional sales growth (vs previous 6 weeks)
  • +£1.5m value sales growth
  • £806k incremental sales driven by TV
  • +765k incremental penetration (vs previous 8 weeks)
  • +371k YOY increase in penetration
  • Positive shifts in brand image statements eg. ‘Pukka Pies is a brand for me’ – up 60%, ‘Pukka Pies makes great tasting pies’ – up 40%

We are proud to say, the relaunch of Pukka has exceeded our expectations, and TV was vital to this success. In a category that had seen minimal investment and was dominated by supermarket own label, we have been able to demonstrate the power of TV to build awareness of a brand, drive perceptions and quality AND drive sales that exceeded our expectations. TV has firmly established Pukka Pies as successful, mainstream grocery brand and we look forward to seeing how we can continue to utilise everything the medium has to offer to drive our future success.

Lindsay Filmer Head of Marketing at Pukka Pies


Sector: Food

Brand: Pukka Pies

Campaign objectives: To drive awareness, reposition the brand and drive sales

Target Audience: Families

Budget: £2m

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 30th Jan to 6th March 2017

TV Usage: 30 second slots

Creative Agency: Quiet Storm

Media Agency:  PHD


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