"Crazy" TikTok campaign aims to increase wholegrain consumption

The challenge of how to increase interest in wholegrain bread among young consumers was the basis of an online campaign from the Swedish Bread Institute, an industry organisation that strives to enlighten consumers about the benefits that bread can have on both human and environmental health. Launched in the spring of 2023 the campaign is now hailed as a huge success, with over 10 million views.

The campaign was launched on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to reach consumers aged 18-34. The aim was to grow awareness of the healthiness of wholegrains, and to increase consumption of wholegrain bread in a country where 9 out of 10 people don’t eat enough wholegrain. Previous research from the Bread Institute shows that young consumers are particularly unaware of the benefits of wholegrain, which is why they were the primary target of this campaign.

With a big helping of ironic humour, the campaign is based around the theme “The stale life at the Bread Institute” and encompasses a range of entertaining videos as well as a short fake documentary that follows three fictional Bread Institute employees as they embark on a mission to create marketing material that will convince young people that wholegrain bread doesn’t have to be stale and boring.

However, as the employees are middle-aged and completely lack awareness of what young people find interesting and ‘cool’ today, the mission is unsuccessful and only results in a range of poor taglines, dry and predictable jokes, and failed TikTok dances. This is then weaved in with snippets of information about the benefits of wholegrain.

“We need some ‘crazy’ communications in the food industry,” says Maria Sitell, head of communications at the Bread Institute. “Social media is overflowing with trendy content, based on varying levels of scientific evidence, advising people on how to eat healthy. So we knew we needed to do something a bit extraordinary to be able to cut through the noise.”

The Bread Institute revealed the results of the campaign earlier this month and describe the numbers as “way above the industry standard”:

  • The combined campaign material has over 10 million views across the three channels.
  • The campaign fuelled 28,000 engagements, 25,000 click-throughs to the campaign website, and over 115,000 people watched the 2-minute-long “documentary” from beginning to end.
  • 78% of those who saw the campaign claimed to eat wholegrain bread at least once a week, compared to only 60% before the campaign. That represents an increase of 30%.
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