Facebook case study: German biscuit maker connects to younger audience

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Germany’s famous biscuit-maker used Facebook mobile to build new emotional connection with a younger audience, reposition its brand in everyday life and achieve great sales results on just 6% of its media budget.


Case study summary

• Heritage biscuit brand uses Facebook to connect to younger audience

• Bahlsen used Facebook photo ads to push new product line

• 37% of target audience reached with 6% of the total media budget

• 24% increase in purchase volume for people who saw ads in mobile News Feed

The challenge

For over a century, German food company Bahlsen has produced biscuits and cakes. Because most of its consumers were over 50, however, this highly traditional brand wanted to reach out to a younger generation.

Bahlsen had also discovered that its products were mostly used for special occasions like “Sunday tea time” or “to offer for visitors”, so it hoped to change this with a new product line that claims “Life is sweet!”

The solution

To reposition the brand as part of consumers’ everyday lives and win over younger customers, Bahlsen needed a successful launch for its new multi-flavoured product lines: Bahlsen Life, Be Happy and Cookies.

To drive awareness, Bahlsen used photo ads that delivered its new rebranded message: “Life Is Sweet”. Using Facebook’s reach and frequency tools to focus on its core target audience of 25- to 49-year-olds, Bahlsen could lead exactly the right people from awareness to purchase intent.


For the umbrella branding campaign, Bahlsen developed 5 core messages to connect with this younger audience and position its brand as part of their daily lives: Stärken (strengthen), Chillen (chilling out), Chatten (chatting) and Leben (living life). Each core message had a strong image showing young people enjoying Bahlsen cookies and treats in everyday situations.


Despite accounting for just 6% of the total media budget, Bahlsen’s Facebook activity between August–November 2014 reached 37% of its core target audience of 25- to 49-year-olds. Of this 10 million people, 6.9 million were reached via mobile News Feed, making it the placement with the greatest impact.

With the right media and creative approach, Bahlsen’s storytelling approach drove brand awareness and purchase intent. Facebook mobile had a huge impact on Bahlsen sales, increasing the purchase volume of people who saw the ads in their mobile News Feed by 24% compared to people who didn’t see the campaign.


It achieved the same return on investment results with Facebook as out-of-home (OOH), making this a great comparison between mobile screens and billboard-sized advertising.

Indeed, Facebook’s 93.9% accuracy—compared to TV’s 51.6% accuracy and 44.5% accuracy for OOH—proved its efficiency by delivering these remarkable results:

• 37% of target audience reached with 6% of the total media budget

• 6.9 million reached via mobile News Feed

• 21% (2.4 million people) were exclusively reached by Facebook

• 93.9% accuracy versus 51.6% for TV

• 24% increase in purchase volume for people who saw ads in mobile News Feed

Kamran Wuehrmann, Marketing Director, Bahlsen, said: “Facebook really complements our other media channels by driving additional sales via mobile and reaching some of our core audience exclusively.”

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