Pat the Baker campaign on Bebo – An analysis

Pat the Baker on Bebo

For those unaware of it, it appears that Pat the Baker has decided to market itself on Bebo, of all places. Not sure how Bebo was chosen as a place to market since this is where the average age is below 18 and a space where the ones that make the bread buying decisions would not be hanging around on that space. Perhaps it was to influence the people that pester the mammy to buy the bread? Someone knows.

Irish companies that are running campaigns on Bebo are apparently dropping €30k to €50k on their projects. Figures for these campaigns and the breakdown of them are not public and don’t seem to be available but I would guess that for your money you’d get promotion to the front page for your profile, a specially designed skin (a template that the kids can install), promotion of the skin on the skins section and banners ads to be displayed around the site. This is pretty much what Pat the Baker has had.

So the profile was created in September and what are the results?

  • 2878 friends on Bebo.
  • 334 love hearts.
  • 3638 skin installs.
  • 45 pages of comments. 20 comments per page. 900 comments.

Pat the Baker on Bebo

Pat the Baker on Bebo

So what about mentions in other places?

So if this campaign cost €30k, what were the costs per “engagement unit”?

It all depends on how things were measured. Are comments the measure of success or page views or Luv Hearts or skin installs? Taking only one of these factors as a measure of success:

  • 2878 friends on Bebo. So that’s €10.4 to acquire each friend. But getting friends on Bebo is dead easy.
  • Look at how many “shared the luv” which is more of an engagement. You can “share the luv” 3 times a day now. Yet they only got 334 love hearts. 90 quid for an engagement of that sort.
  • 3638 skin installs. €9 per skin install?
  • 45 pages of comments. 20 comments per page. 900 comments. €33 euros per comment.
  • 19811 views since September. €1.51 a view. Perspective: did 146k pageviews in the same time period.

Adding up all “engagements”
If we add the number of comments, to the number of friend adds to the number of Luv hearts to the number of skin installs we get 7750 engagement “units”. That works out at €3.87 if we use the magical €30k number.

The level of engagement if you consider the “Sharing the Luv” action is low. If you consider this blog post that asked people to comment about their favourite sandwich it only got 15 comments. Out of 2800+ friends?

Marketing bread on Bebo is probably not the best place for it. There was nothing innovative in this whole campaign either. Take yor picture with a sliced pan? Jesus. Singing to the theme song on YouTube is ok but is a very very expensive method of brand reinforcement.

Also, some advanced SEO work would have been good. The first result in Google is full of grammatical errors. Capital letters and apostrophes please.
Pat the Baker on Google

So what would I do? Not go on Bebo to sell bread. Hit mommy bloggers up and those who buy the bread and use the bread. Or if you wanted to get to the kids then actually sell them something more appealing but which makes them buy your product. You know like chocolate spread, peanut butter and jelly spreads etc. etc.

39 thoughts on “Pat the Baker campaign on Bebo – An analysis”

  1. Great analysis Damien, €30k to €50k thats as insane waste of money! I actually thought company people did these as a joke during their lunch breaks! Can’t believe business people actually forked up money for that kind of thing. Shows total mis understanding of what they sell and what web 2.0 means.

    * 2878 friends on Bebo.
    * 334 love hearts.
    * 3638 skin installs.
    * 45 pages of comments. 20 comments per page. 900 comments.
    * 0 extra slice pans sold!

  2. One small, and interesting point, I think, is that Pat’s comments are not moderated. If you have a skim through them you will find that they’re not all complementary.

  3. Interesting!!

    Though I do want to pull you on a couple of points.

    Firstly the average age of the Bebo audience is not under 18 in fact 72 % of Bebo’s Irish audience is over 18 according to our internal data.

    The core of our audience is 17 – 23 which are mainly students and as such are a valid target for bread marketing (beans on toast being a staple part of their diet).

    Even if we were to go with the 30k figure quoted, you have failed to mention the figures that the promotion itself generates in terms of people seeing the brand. If we go by Comscore figures Bebo recieves circa 700k uniques per month, each of whom will have seen the Pat The Baker logo on the Homepage. Name me one other medium that can reach that audience for 30k??

    In terms of the engagement, I think the below quote from the Brand Manager at Pat The Baker speaks volumes,

    ‘ I wanted to do something interactive to launch our new ‘Product Characters’ Which are characters that personify some of our most popular products. Bebo offered us a platform for engagement with an audience that is often missed in the FMCG world of brand positioning and marketing. The young opinionated householder can effect the purchasing decisions of the main shopper more and more. Beyond the demographic and gender profile of the space it has allowed us to stretch the brand and introduce the characterization of our products in a tangible manner, getting immediate feedback. This is the beauty of Bebo. We are in direct communication on a level playing field with our consumers, this is high maintenance, but from a marketing position fascinating. As an endorsement of out artwork, we have had more ‘skin’ downloads than any other corporate venture and generated 2,500 friends in two weeks. It is more than just bread. It is about engaging and having fun with the brand. People feel a certain proprietorship over our bread and our brand and I like to encourage that.’ Oliver Durkin, Brand Manager Pat The Baker

    If the brand thinks it is a success and the Bebo audience obviously love it, how can it be a failure??

  4. Damien. Really thought provoking article. I think we should discuss the various types of metrics that we use to measure the success of online activities. All web activity is infinitely measurable; and this is both a strength and a weakness. Greater accountability is now being sought than was ever previously sought for marketing activities. Advertisers will never try and justify the cost of buying TV by counting how many people who saw the ad actually lifted the phone or log on – the cost per phone call generated would be outrageous.

    With online communications we can track so much and ultimately deduce the impact on the bottom line of the various campaigns we run. When I do a CPA (cost per aquisition) analysis of various online activities we do I see vast differences, between for example display ads and search ads. That doesn’t mean that I don’t do one. I need to be in the spaces where my audience are, and Im not always trying to drive just sales. Brand engagement, short and long-term, is also a critical component of every communications activity we do. Any marketing manager would be delighted to have their target audience singing their jingle, recording it and posting it on YouTube. Will it drive sales? Ulitmately you’d have to believe it will.

    Great to see the new site up and running, by the way.

  5. Name me one other medium that can reach that audience for 30k??

    How about Facebook? Aedan showed here that he can get his ad or logo to 700k for about 350 quid a month.

    How about who can give me an extra Million uniques over Bebo and I’m sure won’t be charging 30k to do it? Check that list, lots of other websites on their too who I’m sure can easily outdo Bebo in terms of uniques and value.

    (beans on toast being a staple part of their diet).

    Could you point out the stats from the CSO or whoever on this? I hadn’t heard of this fact previously or is this just a Bebo generalisation?

    If the brand thinks it is a success and the Bebo audience obviously love it, how can it be a failure??

    So if the Emperor believes his new clothes are just fab then it must be true? This is Bebo’s explanation? Wow.

    Just going back to this:

    Bebo audience obviously love it

    Where is this a fact? How is this correct? How can you tell?

  6. I could play bullshit bingo with keywords but I’ll try to avoid it.

    More than anything this demonstrates that metrics education is needed. Metrics education and transparency.

    Clarity over what customers really get for their advertising budgets is necessary. More than this, it’s vital. Customers need to understand what they are buying and its value else online marketing using social networks will get black-balled as a practice. Confidence in online marketing only comes after value is realised. Like any industry, we need to start from the ground up.

    If I were a marketing head at Pat the Baker, I’d be disappointed at the ROI numbers above. All interactions are not born equal. A comment cannot be equated to a Luv. And how about views?

    Also I’d love to see a survey done on the prime audience of Bebo – teenagers, just to gauge the activity generated on their pages over a two-month period. How they interact. How many Luvs they send it each other, and then compare all their stats versus Pat the Baker. Their interactions are organic, for free and represent real engagement. (Gimme one bingo ding).

    If anything, the attention on Pat the Baker because of this blog post might yield more activity on Blogsearch or Trends than the campaign called out. A shot in the arm for Pat the Baker’s search engine results gratis.

    I think the Irish online marketing industry needs more expertise in metrics. Yet again I point to the UK. They are years ahead.

    Planners meet, swap ideas. Imaginative and sticky campaigns are launched and executed on. And with all that, comes project success and client satisfaction. There’s maturity in the UK’s online industry because everyone is speaking the same language and using proper metrics.

    The more focused everyone is in identifying and tracking good metrics, the better customers understand ROI. Only good can come from this.

  7. Great online marketing analysis Damien..a lesson for everyone on engagement. Businesses appear to be looking to measure ROI but to me its about the ability to connect with your customers in an engaging and meaninful manner for now
    I agree with the need for metrics education
    Congrats on new site Looks Great

  8. We could split hairs on this all day Damien.

    A number of facts remain –

    The campaign fulfilled the brief of the brand. This was outlined in Olivers quote in my previous post. I agree there are different approaches they might take to sell more bread but for this campaign, Bebo fulfilled brief to the point that the client was happy with the campaign. If you have issue with this being a way of selling more bread, your issue is with the brief not Bebo.

    You quoted the audience engagement figures in your original post. How are these not good? 200 poems written about Pat The Baker in two weeks. That is brilliant engagement in any ones book. I have quoted these figures to a number of marketing professionals and all have been impressed so I fail to see how these figures should be considered a failure?

    As for the beans on toast thing, I dont know, Google it.

    On a seperate note, I agree with Alexia about the metrics thing. If we could get a cross platform engagemnet metric , it would really show the power of the Digital space versus traditional media.

  9. As for the beans on toast thing, I dont know, Google it.

    Ok, so you already stated this:

    The core of our audience is 17 – 23 which are mainly students and as such are a valid target for bread marketing (beans on toast being a staple part of their diet).

    Right, so your justification for Beboers and Pat the Baker marketing to this demographic, that beans on toast being a staple part of the diet was in actual fact a fiction? Is this the only fiction you use to justify using Bebo for marketing purposes?

    If we could get a cross platform engagemnet metric , it would really show the power of the Digital space versus traditional media.

    It’d be a damned sight better than justifying an awful lot of money on 200 poems wouldn’t it? To add to the already huge amount of bullshit phrases here, maybe we should add the phrase poemetrics?

    I have quoted these figures to a number of marketing professionals and all have been impressed

    Seriously? Have anyone of them used the interwebs?

  10. I’m one of the admins on
    We have 1M uniques a month and wouldnt charge you anything LIKE 30K for a lot more exposure.

    We charge about less than 2k a year for a whole FORUM in our commercial section ffs 🙂
    Combine an ad campaign to alert people about it (another 5k *tops*) and you would blow those numbers out of the water. (observe Komplett who are masters of online marketing long ago… )

    Nice piece of analysis Damien, though how sure are you of your facts on the 30-50k thing? Its not that I doubt you but … what was the money spent on? Seriously, how much could this have cost? How was it justified at budgeting stage?


  11. You could argue about this forever.

    If Pat The Baker are happy with the campaign and feel that it achieved their goals, then Bebo are obviously succeeding in winning the sales. Now whether or not Pat the Baker’s investment was a good way to spend their marketing budget or not is another matter entirely.
    If the target demographic was 3rd level students, wouldn’t it have been more cost-effective to run promotions in the campus food shops? The footfall in the UL shop, for example, would be a lot more useful to boosting sales of a brand than running an online campaign that might or might not convert into sales.
    Impressing fellow marketing professionals is a pointless exercise. Successful marketing should lead to an increase in sales. Anything else is a waste of money.

  12. There must be something between social networking and bread for some reason.

    I heard an ad for Brennans Bread today on the radio and the two old lads in the ad were talking about Facebook and being poked!

  13. ‘ …..(beans on toast being a staple part of their diet).

    Right, so your justification for Beboers and Pat the Baker marketing to this demographic, that beans on toast being a staple part of the diet was in actual fact a fiction?’

    It’s called a joke, I got it. I think he was trying to lighten the mood of your critical analysis.
    Which I would say is what PTB was trying to do with this campaign, maybe they could have reached more people with a different campaign but as stated, the drive was about engagement of the audience. Having all those people singing your theme tune (I believe that Robotnik even performed his version of the theme tune on stage), writing poems, wearing the tee-shitrs (which I believe ran out due to excessive demand) is bound to be worth a lot in subliminal or secondary advertising too.
    I do not claim to be a marketing expert and as someone said, Impressing fellow marketing professionals is a pointless exercise, so as a member of the bread buying public, I would deem it a great success. Based on the thousands of kiddies/students on bebo with that imagery and theme tune rolling around their head. Not to mention me/us talking about it.

  14. they are definitely after the students of the country. during freshers week in our college there was a free toast and jam day with all bread provided by, you’ve guessed it, good old Pat.

  15. I’m no expert on these matters, but I think one of the advantages that the campaign had is that it got people talking about it. I haven’t come across their Bebo page and I only seen one ad, but I’ve still read about the campaign on blogs and in papers. If you factor in the free publicity they’ve gained, then it’s probably a more effective campaign than it might otherwise seem.

  16. On a small point re:
    Richard Hearne said at 4:17 pm on November 19th, 2008:

    Problem with most social platforms: soft metrics. Very difficult to measure ROI.

    … it’s entirely possible to integrate Google Analytics to a Bebo profile for both regular click and visitor metrics and also any Flash actions which are part of your customisable header, in an Feature Sponsored Profile.

    There’s nothing ‘soft’ about the metrics.

  17. Huh?

    So are you saying that SM campaigns should be measured by such metrics? The CFO should be delighted with those figures to justify that €30k spend…

    Still ‘soft’ engagement metrics IMO

  18. As I work in the social media marketing space, I think Damien’s article is very well done and Philip’s defence of Bebo is quite justified and correct.

    What is at issue is a client like ‘Pat the Baker’ spending so much ad budget trying to engage a secondary target market / audience. It may be as a result of a common & inaccurate perception that Irish mammies are not online – Damien’s mommy blogger suggestion is spot on.

    Alternatively, the client brief must have been to re-position Pat the Baker and re-invigorate the brand because I know they have also bought the rights to the Robotnik version of their theme tune. This techno version is hardly for the Irish mammies ?

    In 2009, there will an even more forensic pre-campaign analysis due to the economic downturn & it will be interesting if there is a ‘Pat the Baker’ Bebo 2009 campaign.

    This will tell if it really worked or not.

  19. Gold star, Mulley! I shall send you for Christmas.

    Conor, I must admit I find your comment confusing. Very contradictory.

    As a social media marketing head, you find that Damien’s article highlights some good points but at the same time you also believe that Philip’s defence is correct. Surely you cannot support both points of view? Are they not totally incompatible? Oil and water.

    With your social media experience, what criteria do you point out to your clients as campaign success metrics? How do you tell your clients when they hit these?

  20. Hi Alexia

    I understand why you might think I’m being confusing & I hope this helps explain –

    I can support both of them as I believe both of them are right. Damien is correcly questioning the ROI for Pat on youth based social media & this is a hazy new area hard to measure. He makes valid points and it is a curious place for selling bread.

    Bebo sells media space to clients and Philip responded to his clients brief by delivering young eyeballs & brand engagement.

    The missing part is the client or marketing agency that chose the media option (Bebo) in the first place. I am not sure I agree with the choice in using Bebo but maybe the client wanted to radicalise their brand & get lots of PR etc. & win Bakery Marketing Awards etc.

    In my experience here is how it works best for social media marketing – there are 5C’s to examine –

    1 – Consumers – define your target market e.g Mums, teens, college students – who do you want to engage
    2 – Concepts – Create a concept with cut through & longevity – e.g. Create a personality for Pat on social media & incentivise consumers to interact
    3 – Content – Create social creative (portable & shareable) such as videos, skins, games e.g Consumer Generated Content like Pat theme tunes
    4 – Connections – Connect with the target consumers – use, blogs, social networks, mobile, events,t-shirts etc. to spread the word
    5 – Conversations – Start a dialogue with the target consumer and keep it going. It is pointless earning 3,000 friends and then not talking to them in the coming months.

    So if Pat wanted to reach a younger audience then it has worked to date but is expensive obviously – however will he keep the conversation going into 2009 ? Is he really such a friendly baker chatting away with all his new young friends or will he disappear into a cloud of flour ?

    Each client is different but metrics can be as simple as ad views, page views, friends, video views, video downloads, app downloads, skin downloads, comments, comptition entries & emails collected etc.

    The main thing is the amount of conversations started and here we are chatting about the campaign !! I think I fancy some toast.

  21. I agree with Damien’s analysis that the cost of definite engagement (views, friends, etc.) for the campaign on Bebo does not seem to deliver good ROI.

    But if the aim of the campaign is not just engagement but passive brand views that’s another story. As Philip states above “Bebo has 700k uniques per month each of whom will have seen the Pat The Baker logo on the Homepage”

    It seems that this type of passive brand or logo view is also a justification for the cost of the campaign. This strikes me as using the new social media in an “old media” scatter-gun fashion similar to TV or Radio ad. There is no user click or engagement so I presume it can’t be measured in a scientific way.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the whole idea of social networking was engagement ?

  22. Two quick points:

    @ Philip from bebo: While I can see where you’re coming from, and I do agree that Bebo has preformed exactly what was required of them, you seem to be defending against an argument that was never made. The crux of Damien’s argument seems to be that either this did not result in an increase in sales of bread by €30k-€50k, or that this money could have had a better return on investment if deployed elsewhere. The responses that suggest it was worthwhile because of the number of poems written, skins downloaded etc. is hollow if it’s not backed up by an increase in sales. You can’t put engagement as an item on your cash flow statement!

    @ Damien: While I think the points you raise are very valid, and are questions that should always be asked, I wouldn’t be so quick to bash Pat the Baker for this effort. Realistically, €30k isn’t a huge amount of money for a company of that size to spend on a campaign. It also wouldn’t surprise me if (in revenue terms) the campaign broke even. But at least PTB were trying something new. It wasn’t very innovative, I agree, but at least it was something, which is a lot more than can be said for most other Irish firms of that size. It was a foray into a new medium aimed at a new target market, and ineffective as it may have been, I think the real value for the company is in the lessons learned. From reading the excerpt from their statement above, it seems like they used this to test the waters and to try new things, and if they can take the lessons they’ve learned (including your feedback) and use them to build stronger campaigns in future, then that at least should be commended.

  23. Hi all, to follow up on a point raised by Aedan, if Pat the Baker had spent €300,000 to €500,000 on:

    * a TV campaign chasing 50 TVRs of the 15 – 24 year old market
    * backed up with some strategically placed outdoors ads (b us shelters near universities and schools)
    * and pushed with some radio ads

    Would we be having this conversation? Probably not. Additionally, how would we know if the money spent was justified?

    Without perspective on other media costs, €30,000 seems like a lot of money.

    If we were, however, to take TV or press advertising into consideration and work out the cost of 15 – 24 year olds seeing the ad at least once, in either medium, €3.87 for actual interaction of any kind with the brand seems like excellent value versus the
    cost of opportunity to see.

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