YouTube case study: Babybel drives store sales with smart targeting

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Bel UK set out with the ambition to “save snacktime” in the UK with a healthier alternative within savoury snacks. Focusing on their hero brand Mini Babybel, the team’s challenge was to evolve the small cheese beyond a typical kids’ lunchbox choice to appeal to people of all ages.


Case study summary

• Snack brand focused on Young adults on YouTube
• Ran 10-second YouTube creative in two bursts
• Used mid-flight Brand Lift Study to optimise campaign creative
• Achieved 18% uplift in purchase intent at half cost per view of previous phase

The challenge

Bel UK, the FMCG company behind Mini Babybel, The Laughing Cow, Boursin, and other iconic brands, wanted to grab the attention of a wide audience and drive purchase intent among young pre-family adults.

The objective was to drive penetration amongst the brand’s core audience of families with kids, as well as amongst the growth audience of pre-families (people aged 25 to 34 who don’t have kids).

The solution

Featuring two hero products, Babybel Original and Babybel Light, the “Super Snacks” campaign promoted Babybel as the perfect all-in-one snacking option: nutritious, natural, rich in protein, fun, and convenient. Messaging centred on the the Super Snacks crew, whose mission is to save snack time whenever you’re feeling peckish.

The campaign included TV, video on demand, social, radio, mobile, PR, sampling, in-store shopper activations, and YouTube.

The role of YouTube was to gain incremental reach among young pre-family adults through a targeting strategy directed specifically to them. In setting up the campaign, the team used demographic targeting and YouTube life stage and affinity audiences (for example, people who were moving, graduating, or getting married, and sports fans and those interested in team sports).

The 10-second YouTube creative showed the Super Snacks characters in a real kitchen environment as they directly addressed the audience. The jingle and brand signature (“Saving Snack Time”) reinforced the brand identity.

The YouTube activity ran in two back-to-back bursts lasting two months each. The first phase delivered impressive performance, with Babybel achieving a cost per view of £0.005 compared to an expected £0.04. However, a Brand Lift Study showed no uplift in purchase intent. To encourage consumers to go in store and buy the brand as the go-to savoury snack, the Babybel team tweaked the creative to show the characters delivering a clear call to action: “Choose us when you’re feeling peckish, we’re in the cheese aisle!”

The results

As a result, the second phase delivered half the cost per view of the previous phase alongside an 18% uplift in purchase intent – compared to the industry benchmark of 2.5%.
When the campaign ended, Brand Lift Study results demonstrated a 70% lift in ad recall (against the benchmark of 23%) and a 457% lift in brand interest. The YouTube ads reached 4.76 million users at an average frequency of 1.2 impressions with a 50% view-through rate.

Célina Leroyer, Brand Manager, Mini Babybel, said: “The great content created for YouTube, running alongside the supporting campaign, delivered above our expectations, not only successfully reaching our audience, but more importantly, helping us surpass our sales targets and maintain our leading position as the number-one cheese snack format. We see YouTube continuing to play an important role in delivering incremental reach alongside TV.”

Looking back, the Babybel team says there are four important factors that enabled their success on YouTube and ultimately helped influence the purchase behaviour of grocery shoppers.

• Produce memorable creative
• Set up the right targeting
• Include a clear call to action to drive viewers to store
• Use YouTube’s Brand Lift Study as an actionable source of truth ad you optimise

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