Gousto selects M&C Saatchi and the7stars for debut brand campaign

Recipe box company Gousto is launching its first integrated campaign, after appointing M&C Saatchi and the7stars to handle creative and media duties.

The £2m campaign, called "Unbox possibility", launches today (6 September) and will position the brand as a offering "easier and more enjoyable mealtimes" for busy families.

Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Timo Boldt and James Carter - they pitched the firm on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2013 - Gousto recently received £25.5m in cash funding from venture capital, and now employs 400 people.

With the stated aim of serving 400 million home-cooked meals in the UK by 2025, Gousto is looking to improve awareness of its product among a broader audience, and has recruited former EE marketer Anna Greene to the role of head of brand marketing to oversee the drive.

The campaign, which features a jack-in-the-box motif, will run on broadcast media, VOD, print and OOH. On digital, Gousto has teamed up with a handful of Instagram food influencers to create content using its food boxes, while the brand has plans to run a "chefless restaurant" experience in London later this month in partnership with Time Out.

"Unbox possibilities" was created by Charli Plant and Laura Saraiva, and directed by William Bartlett through Framestore Pictures.

Tipping point

Speaking exclusively to Campaign, Greene said that, though Gousto has established itself as a "leader" in the recipe box sector, the wider category lacks broader awareness among consumers.

After carrying out its mostly performance-led marketing in-house, Greene said that the brand had reached a "tipping point" where it needs to "broaden the lens" and develop a more "mainstream" understanding of its offering among families.

"We needed to find the right partners from a creative and media standpoint that really understood our mission as a food tech company, transforming what is an outdated grocery market. We’re disruptors in the category, so we needed to find people who understood our innovative mentality, and we think we’ve found that in M&C Saatchi and the7stars," she said.

After consulting with customers, Gousto opted to focus on how its service is changing mealtime experiences "for the better", Greene reveals, rather than dwelling on fresh ingredients and recipe cards, a strategy used by rivals such as HelloFresh.

"We knew that we wanted [a campaign] that captured the excitement and possibility, and this is when we developed the idea of a jack-in-the-box, a childhood toy which has all this nostalgia and optimism, and [conveys] our offering in a more visually distinctive way," she added.

"It has the product at its core. When you’re a new brand, you need that. You can’t get too tied up in metaphors or too much storytelling - you need something which feels really true to the product and celebrates it in all its entirety, and we think the campaign does just that."

The campaign is scheduled to run throughout the autumn months, and Greene said Gousto plans to develop the "Unbox possibility" brand platform over the longer term.

"This is about broadening awareness of not just Gousto, but the category as a whole. Only one in two UK adults knows what a recipe box is, so we’ve got a big challenge on our hands," she said.

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