Mattessons Fridge Raiders ad still

A third of all internet users regularly log on to YouTube, claims the site. More than a billion of us are on Facebook. Well over 300 million people use Twitter every month. Instagram claims to attract similar numbers. Social media is a huge opportunity. But how can brands make the most of it without alienating potential consumers?

Here’s one way: enlist the help of a robot called F.R.H.A.N.K… that’s Fridge Raiders Hunger Automated Kit. Not the snappiest of names, granted, but this neat idea has helped Mattessons outgrow a bullish meat snacks market with a 15.8% surge in value sales to £48.2m, as we reveal in today’s sneak peek from this year’s Top Products Survey (out on Friday).

Today’s exclusive video interview with Kerry Foods strategic marketing director Sue McVie shows F.R.H.A.N.K, who starred in a series of videos with celebrity vlogger Ali-A earlier this year, in action and gives a few pointers on how to get maximum bang for buck on social media. McVie says the campaign was the most successful in the brand’s history. It’s not difficult to see why.

By going digital, Mattessons has been able to target the YouTube generation, the brand’s core teen audience, with pinpoint precision. Crucially, by enlisting teen vlogger Ali-A, who has 7.2 million YouTube subscribers and more than a million likes on Facebook, the brand has been able to do this without alienating would-be consumers by filling their newsfeeds up with unwanted ads.

This is social media by proxy. That Mattessons has produced fun, compelling video content that appeals to its target audience has contributed to the campaign’s success, of course, but the really smart bit is in signing up Ali-A, who has shared that content on the brand’s behalf. His followers care what Ali-G has to say. They’ll listen to him.

They won’t necessarily listen to a conglomerate like Kerry Foods. By realising this, and coming up with F.R.H.A.N.K, Mattessons deserves to be one 2015’s Top Products. To find out who the rest are, see Friday’s bumper issue of The Grocer.