Social media case study: Nutella Facebook ad campaign outperforms TV

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Last Christmas, Nutella ran a cross-platform ad campaign in Germany, mixing traditional and new media spend, including TV and Facebook. This case study looks at how the Facebook campaign generated more sales than TV ads for the food brand. Nutella claims that their Facebook ads accounted for 15 per cent of sales over Christmas, far outperforming their TV campaign. The Facebook ads, which took the form of a full reachblock campaign, promoted the Nutella Deutschland page.

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Brand: Ferrero, Nutella | Country: Germany | Sector: FMCG- Food | Objective: build brand awareness | Format: Facebook, TV

Nutella’s goal for the campaign was to boost engagement, brand awareness, and sales during the 2011 Christmas season in Germany. They ran a television advertisement, created a custom Facebook application centered around a digital advent calendar, and drove traffic to the app using Facebook ads.

The online aspect of the campaign reached 30 per cent of the online population in Germany throughout December via its reachblock campaign.

Rather than leading to a sales tab on Facebook, the campaign directed people through to an advent calendar application to win spot prizes.


Interestingly, the case study also reveals patterns behind combining Facebook with TV. While the Facebook campaign alone reached 30 per cent penetration online, Nutella found that 2.8 million people that saw the Facebook ad hadn’t seen the TV campaign, giving them 29 per cent exclusive reach.

This is perhaps the most important take-out for marketers as it shows the importance of including an online element to major campaigns, and given the declining interest in TV ads, it’s boosted by the ‘second screen’ experience of viewing TV.

Nutella used a triangulated approach that combined traditional TV advertising, Facebook advertising, and a custom Facebook app. They didn’t just run three campaigns simultaneously, but they made sure to link all three marketing efforts to amplify their traffic and ultimately increase their ROI.

According to Angela Kim, the Senior Media Manager/New Media for parent company Ferrero: “As well as proven incremental reach and a positive cross-media effect between TV and Facebook, we demonstrated that Facebook lifts sales for FMCGs [fast-moving consumer goods] in bricks and mortar stores.”

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