Last week, an "unholy union" of Weetabix and Heinz - featuring "beanz on bix for breakfast" - prompted popular outcry on social media. Twitter users said Weetabix's social media stunt on 9 February was "wrong", "cursed", and "an abomination"; Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, described it as "utterly disgusting".
Despite the tone of some of these posts, the social campaign managed to capture consumers' attention and stoke conversation about both brands. Data from YouGov BrandIndex UK reveals that Ad Awareness (a measure of whether consumers have seen an advertisement for a brand in the past two weeks) for Weetabix rose from 15.7 to 20.9 between 8-14 February (peaking at 24.9 on 12 February), while Heinz Beanz's scores almost tripled from 4.4. to 12.8 over the same period.
Beyond advertising, there is evidence to suggest that the purposefully provocative campaign boosted performance across other metrics. Weetabix's overall Attention scores, which measure whether respondents have heard positive or negative buzz about a brand, rose by more than ten points from 7.7. to 18.1 between 8-14 February, while Heinz Beanz's doubled from 5.8 to 12.1. There was also a clear improvement in Word of Mouth exposure, which measures whether consumers have talked about a brand with friends or family in the past two weeks, for both brands: Weetabix's scores increased from 9.0 to 15.8, while Heinz Beanz's increased from 6.5 to 11.4.
The campaign also drove a slight uptick in Recommend scores for Weetabix (31.8 - 34.2 between 8–14 February) and Heinz (31.7 - 33.6).
By itself, Heinz may have also seen some significant rewards for its good-natured response to Weetabix's original tweet: Value for Money scores rose from 18.3 to 24.8 between 8-14 February, while Quality scores saw a six-point boost, going from 39.5 to 45.2. Overall Index scores - an average of Impression, Value, Quality, Reputation, Satisfaction, and Recommend scores - slightly improved from 33.9 to 36.0.
This article previously appeared in CityAM
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