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Why is this work relevant for Media?

TV is a proven driver for behaviour change – ‘Blue Planet II’ saw 88% of viewers acting to reduce their plastic waste (Global Citizen, 2018). So, we co-created a branded TV programme that aligned Hellmann’s with the reduction of food waste, to air on top UK broadcaster Channel 4.


Staggeringly, if food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse-gas emitter in the world. Yet mass awareness of the impact of food waste on global warming lags behind public awareness of other more widely accepted contributors. But food waste is a household consumer problem, we know that in the UK 1 in every 6 bags of their grocery shopping goes in the bin.

Hellmann’s is on a mission to help people reduce waste. It’s the perfect ingredient to turn leftovers into a delicious meal – so the task at hand was to raise awareness of how UK households are major contributors to the food waste issue and offer practical solutions to inspire behaviour change.

Describe the creative idea / insights

The idea was to make Hellmann’s the beacon for tackling food waste, by creating a show that raised awareness of the issue with the first sustainability-led, ad-funded TV series in the UK – Cook Clever, Waste Less. As hosts we enlisted Prue Leith, host of hit show The Great British Bake Off and self-crowned Queen of Leftovers, for the show, alongside NHS GP Dr Rupy Aujla, a proponent of the medical benefits of eating well. Each episode they showed a family the impact of their food waste and inspired them to change their cooking behaviour, sharing ways they could reduce waste and reuse leftover foods in recipes using Hellmann’s.

The thought was rooted in the insight that while sustainability matters to consumers, they feel powerless when it comes to the problem of climate change. If they consider taking even small steps towards change they face conflicting information and confusion.

Describe the strategy

Culturally, we were in a ‘moment of change’, driven by the disruption the pandemic bought. Moments like these are opportunities for personal growth and often prompt consumers to re-evaluate their habits and create new ones, making a perfect storm to land our campaign.

Simply highlighting the food waste problem and landing our purpose proposition at scale, whilst important, was not enough. To make an impact on consumers, have the chance to really change habits, and make a genuine difference, we needed to trigger and establish behaviour change among consumers. We needed to give them reasons to start saving leftovers from the bin – that this was their chance to save not only time and money, but the planet. And we needed to deliver this in an engaging and inspiring way.

Describe the execution

We co-created a compelling programme treatment – Cook Clever, Waste Less – to pitch to top UK broadcaster Channel 4 commissioning.

Four 30-minute episodes aired peak time on C4 and All4. We also created a bespoke TVC to run first in break during the show outlining Hellmann’s commitment to food waste, along with sponsorship idents, plus digital assets (trailers, cutdowns, recipe videos and a downloadable recipe book) across social and online video.

The programme aired weekly from May 24th until 14th June 2021, and on All4 indefinitely. The TVC ran from 24th May until 27th May and the remaining assets ran from 17th May until 31st August.

List the results

15% uplift in the number of people who agreed that ‘Hellmann’s helps use food that would otherwise go to waste’ (Millward Brown, 2021).

Eight out of ten viewers said they would choose Hellmann’s next time they bought mayo (InSites Consulting Research, 2021).

Press coverage had an advertising value equivalent of £2.65 million.

Traffic to Hellmann’s website increased by 500%.

40,000 recipe books were downloaded.

The show attracted an audience of 3.4m (vs 3m benchmark) across Channel 4 and All 4.

32% of show viewers (vs 25% benchmark) said they would start using leftovers from their meals after watching the show.

We created an immediate carbon impact: viewers saved 3.1m kg of food waste from landfill, saving 5.9m kg of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of a full year of electricity for 1,450 British households.

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

Hellmann’s believe that food is simply too good to waste, and small changes in our behaviour will have a significant impact on our planet. That’s why they are on a mission to create a nation of food lovers that say yes to taste and no to waste. And their products are just the thing to help turn leftovers into a delicious meal. The idea was a way of turning that purpose into not just inspiration but real practical ways for consumers to drastically reduce their food waste by using up leftovers rather than throwing them away.

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