Yeo Valley Marketing Society gong does wonders for the tired old TV spot

It’s nice to see one of the ads I tipped as last year’s best of the crop has come up trumps. The Yeo Valley rappers have just won a top effectiveness award – the Marketing Society Awards Grand Prix no less.

Which must be mightily gratifying to the organic yoghurt brand and BBH, the agency that bet Yeo’s ranch – and possibly their reputation – on the success of a single, high-profile TV campaign. It was by any standards a massive gamble. Yeo is a regional player (of West Country origin), of limited budgetary means, operating in an unsexy sector. It had never, to my knowledge, used TV before and yet was persuaded to blow mcuh of £5m on a single 2-minute slot in the X Factor last autumn.

All right, it wasn’t just TV. Digital support, via a website, Twitter and subsequently YouTube (1.65 million viewings, and rising), played its part: but they were just that, support – and a minuscule part of the spend. Without the high awareness created by the ads, the viral effect of social media may have amounted to very little.

So, a plug here for the good, old-fashioned TV slot. It’s not dead yet – and nor is BBH’s reputation as one of its prime purveyors.

In the 3 months following the campaign, the Marketing Society blurb tells us, Yeo Valley became Britain’s fastest growing brand, with an extra 500,000 people buying its products, and sales swelling by £3.5m. As one of the bucolic lads in the ad claims: “We changed the game, it will never be the same.”

Though it may well be the lass who harvests the biggest dividend. I hear Surrey girl Alexandra Evans’ modelling career is going gangbusters.

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