Jamie Oliver: Britain’s best marketing case study?

Jame Oliver by Vic on Flickr (CC licence)

Jame Oliver by Vic on Flickr (CC licence)

As I’ve said before, I don’t watch much broadcast television these days, but I made an effort to catch Jamie’s Ministry of Food after seeing some of the trailers and the fact it was flagged by Mark Earls.

And I’m glad I did, because it’s probably the first time the principles of community marketing (See also Word of Mouth marketing etc), have been played out on national television! If you’ve been looking for an effective case study, this is definitely one to watch.

The premise is simple. To try and get the people of Rotherham to start cooking healthy food rather than living on takeaways. But rather than an advertising campaign, the plan was to teach 8 people how to cook on the understanding they’d pass the recipes to 2 more people. And in 15 steps, they’d reach the 260,000 population of Rotherham.

As Mark says, it’s a template for HERD marketing:

1. focus on what you can do not what you can say
2. …on what you can give folk out there to do…
3. …that they can do with each other
4. …oh, and make it highly visible and oh, yes fun

But there’s even more that I picked up on. One of the things Jamie started by saying was that he had to listen to start with. Sound familiar?

He also picked a woman who had undermined his School Dinners campaign by taking chip shop orders through the school fence, and picked her out as a key influencer . Time will tell whether he picked the right influencer!

And he’s already worrying about the speed and scaleability of the approach (Shel Isreal on scalability). He can see the positive effect he’s had on the 8 people he’s engaged, and the fact they’ve already ahd improvements to the way they live and act. But he’s got three months to transform a whole town. Sounds like the dilemma of showing a Return on Investment!

And finally there’s the fact he’s attempting to do something positive with this approach. Something that various people within the social media wrld have worried isn’t happening because most people are aiming for fame within the media/marketing/online sphere – and outside of it, things aren’t being affected by the new ways of marketing, communicating and conversing. (I’m struggling to find the appropriate link right now, so will add it later!)

If nothing else, it prompted me to exorcise some blog guilt. I’ve been tackling reports, budgets and plans, and I’m up to my neck in data and Excel spreadsheets, hence the slight lack of posts. But hopefully things should be more consistent again now.