Inside out: Preena Gadher on Asda and ketchup

Inside out: Preena Gadher on Asda and ketchup

Riot Communications m.d. and co-founder Preena Gadher reveals a non-book campaign that has caught her eye recently.

Miriam Robinson Which non-book campaign has impressed you recently?
Preena Gadher [PR agency] Mischief’s news-jacking handiwork for Asda caught my attention last month: it spotted a debate raging on Twitter about whether ketchup should be kept in the fridge or the cupboard. It enlisted the help of Asda’s Clapham branch and the supermarket responded with lightning speed, posting pictures of Asda’s own-brand tomato ketchup in a fridge and on a shelf, as well as commissioning a survey of 1,000 Brits to see who does what. (It’s 53% fridge, 47% cupboard, if you’re interested.)
The results of the survey generated 15 national print and online features by the likes of the BBC, Metro, Guardian and Daily Mail, and five national broadcast pieces.

MR What specifically impressed you?
PG The speed at which Asda responded and placed the survey results in the media was highly impressive, spotting an opportunity and generating real-world impact. This could have been done by any supermarket or ketchup brand, but it was Asda that leapt on the moment.

MR Are you applying any learnings from this campaign to a campaign of yours and, if so, how?
PG We look after a lot of social media accounts for our clients, and we always try to see if there are relevant conversations that are gaining traction to which our clients can contribute meaningfully. It has to be carefully handled so you don’t look like you are hard-selling, but the way Asda did it was very clever.

MR Any other takeaways from this campaign?
PG This story is a great reminder to look at what’s going on around you. In the thick of a campaign, it is very easy to have your head down and be focusing solely on an agreed publicity plan without stopping to look at what’s happening in the real world. The best PRs are able to spot opportunities and adapt their plans to capitalise on something that they didn’t anticipate.