Case Study

How Dorset Cereals' campsite takeovers took breakfast to another level

The premium cereals brand's morning festival activations enabled people to enjoy 'breakfast on the slow'.

How Dorset Cereals' campsite takeovers took breakfast to another level

Premium cereal brand Dorset Cereals has faced heavy competition in recent years, with the introduction of numerous boutique, niche, health-conscious brands and private label alternatives.

To stand out and reinforce its position, Dorset Cereals wanted to bring its ethos – offering a helping hand to consumers who are increasingly living busier, more manic and chaotic lives – to the fore. It wanted to inspire people to live life to the fullest by slowing down, looking after themselves and enjoying and celebrating life’s simple pleasures.

The brand has worked with agency Circle for a number of years, moving away from quick-fire sampling at events such as sachet giveaways, towards personalised wet samples. With the brand’s "Campsite Takeovers" at festivals, consumers are invited to choose their perfect serve, whether with milk, yogurt, compote or honey, so they can create their own breakfast experience, as well as enjoy a range of activities.

Lauren Day, account director at Circle, says that following initial research, this showed a significant increase in brand affinity and purchase intent, pointing towards increased immersion driving better overall ROI.

"When we first suggested our ‘Campsite Takeover’ proposition in 2016, it was a test," Day says. "But by our third year in 2018, we were able to prove its success and build an annual activation plan comprised of a total of eight campsite takeover events."

Dorset Cereals wanted to showcase its "Breakfast on the Slow" proposition, where it encourages young urban families to slow down for breakfast, at a time when visitors would be with friends and family and in the right mindset for an idyllic breakfast experience.

The takeover’s main aim was trial, however the brand also wanted to encourage social sharing and organic and paid-for reach, via distribution of content, competitions and influencer engagement.

"The campsite takeover recognised the opportunity to capitalise on the morning ‘lull’ period before festivals opened," Day says. "We provided the perfect pre-festival environment for families and friends to enjoy each other’s company, fuel their day and reinforce the message that breakfast is worth sitting down for and cherishing."

For the campsite takeovers, the brand made a conscious decision to activate in the festival campsites, rather than in the main festival arenas. While that meant that it didn’t reach day visitors, it was the only brand activating in the campground and was able to own the "breakfast moment". This summer, for example, the brand returned to Camp Bestival for the third year, where it debuted its Campsite Takeover activation, providing families with breakfast, activities and lawn games.

The brand ensured that the visitor’s experience with Dorset Cereals started as soon as they arrived at the festival. A dedicated group of Dorset Cereals-branded "helping hands" welcomed festival goers, carrying their belongings from their cars to the festival site and putting up tents where needed. The brand also distributed lanyards, inviting campers to breakfast and activities the following morning.

Breakfast was hosted within a marquee featuring long banqueting tables and benches with the entire Dorset Cereals’ range available for trial. Visitors were encouraged to pour themselves a bowl and add toppings such as Bonne Maman compote, Alpro Soy yoghurt, hemp milk from Good Hemp, Greek yogurt or milk from Yeo Valley or Cawston Press juices.

Morning activities included yoga, kids' wake up sessions, arts and crafts, glitter tattoos, face painting and flower headband making. An acoustic singer added to the relaxed and easy-going morning while family games, like jenga, noughts and crosses, hula hoops and four in a row, encouraged families to spend as much or as little time as they liked.

Hayley-Jane Doyle, brand manager at Dorset Cereals, says the choice of festivals in which to host a campsite takeover was crucial.

"We wanted to engage with the right consumers for the brand and also ensure that we were going to fit in seamlessly with their whole festival experience," she says. "Surprising festival-goers with a completely aspirational breakfast and morning experience, for free, was so important to us too, and the generous nature of the experience was one which provided unrivalled impact and engagement with the brand."

She adds that all the carefully considered elements of the experience combined beautifully to result in a "gloriously relaxed and wonderful experience" for our visitors.

"Whether it was the range of products on offer, the voice of the acoustic singer or the yoga sessions constantly running, everyone left the tent looking more relaxed, warm and content," she says.

Day says that the brand and agency are working on a new plan for 2019 that aims to strengthen their experiential strategy, push the boundaries even further and ensure that content integration is an even greater part of activations.

Dorset Cereals in numbers (from 10 campsite takeovers only between 2016-2018) :

  • Activations at 10 festivals
  • 92% unaided brand recall
  • 99% rated the experience between 8-10 with 10 being excellent
  • 78% stated that the experience was above or significantly above their expectations