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The Media Plan: how Steph's Packed Lunch can make fish 'less scary'

Fish Said Fred, the brand launched by New England Seafood International a year ago, is making its first foray into above-the-line advertising with a 70-episode sponsorship run on Channel 4 daytime.

In a bid to make fish “less scary” the brand has launched sponsorship idents and product placement for Steph’s Packed Lunch, the daily chat-show hosted by Steph McGovern.

The deal was brokered by NESI’s newly-appointed media agency, Electric Glue.

The campaign aims to reach families and features product placement in the form of co-branded idents on Monday to Thursday and a special product placement deal around Friday’s cooking segment, as well as in-show fish recipes.

Pippa Glucklich, chief executive of Electric Glue, told Mediatel News that it is important for the brand, which wants to make fish more accessible to UK consumers, to align itself with a friendly and warm daytime TV show.

“The tone and character of the show is fun and playful and of course it’s relevant that it’s on at lunchtime when parents will be deciding what to eat and what to buy for their kids,” she said.

“We know that the show has a highly engaged audience. The sponsorship activity is amplified on social and it’s highly relevant for the intended audience.”

From zero to online hero

Steph’s Packed Lunch

launched in September 2020, airing from 12.30pm to 2.10pm on Channel 4. The show, which is broadcast from Leeds, came under scrutiny shortly after launch because it attracted a zero audience rating during one of its early broadcasts.

However, Channel 4 defended the series, insisting an average of 87,000 watched the same edition, and then decided to recommission the show to run across 2021.

Since launch, the show has more than doubled its viewer share, up 103%, and nearly trebled its volume, up 188%, Channel 4 reported in February. It peaked at 277,000, a 3.3% share, for the week commencing 8 February.

The programme is also building a strong digital presence. Human interest stories from Steph’s Packed Lunch have become some of Channel 4’s highest performing on Facebook. The story of a five-year-old boy who saved his mum’s life reportedly amassed 17.9 million views, 1,624% higher than Channel 4’s average on the platform in 2020.

The sponsorship launched around a special episode of Steph’s Packed Lunch, which was turned into Mel B’s Packed Lunch on September 10 as part of Channel 4’s Black to Front Project.

Black to Front Project was a day of programming that saw Channel 4’s entire programming and advertising schedule fronted by Black talent to tackle representation on and off screen.

The campaign is the first work to emerge since NESI appointed Electric Glue as its media agency in July 2021, following a competitive pitch. The company supplies responsibly-sourced fresh seafood in the UK to all leading supermarkets.

There are plans to follow up this year's campaign with more activity in 2022.

Lisa Cowell, head of brand at NESI, added: “Electric Glue suggested and brokered a comprehensive partnership with Channel 4 that marks a new milestone for NESI and Fish Said Fred, which is seeking to inspire UK consumers to enjoy more delicious, healthy and sustainable seafood more often. We want to make fish more accessible and less scary to people.

“We believe that with Steph’s Packed Lunch we’ve found the perfect platform to promote our products to a relevant, targeted audience.”

Read the full article on Meditel here.

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