Greggs vegan sausage roll campaign

Creative campaigns #1 – Greggs launches a vegan sausage roll

With Vitamin Water executing a fabulous campaign in December that’ll kickstart 2019 this month (remember my post about #nophoneforayear?), and now with Greggs releasing their vegan sausage roll within the first 3 days of this year – I can tell this year’s gonna be a goodun’. Therefore, I’ve decided I want to document as many of my favourite campaigns as possible this year via my blog (with new ones coming at us at full force from here there and everywhere, it’ll certainly keep me busy) to give them the credit they duly deserve.

So, first up in my ongoing round-up of ‘2019’s creative campaigns’ is Greggs with their brand new vegan sausage roll. Rolling with the times, their new product has picked up an unprecedented amount of attention and has been covered in every national and regional news publication I can think of – and that’s only in its first day of being on sale.

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I’m not a vegan, but I actually really want to try this as a result of the hype around it (side note I am the perfect persona of someone to attract with marketing and advertising, it seems to draw me in every time)

Luck hasn’t played a part in this campaign’s success, however; nope not at all.

What’s that thing they say about coincidence? The universe is rarely so lazy. The campaign has been executed flawlessly, and from the social media production to the product marketing and PR – it’s truly set the bar for this year already and this brand is definately one to watch moving forward. I just love the creativeness of it all, I mean, Greggs could have released their product simply as that, a new product, and it probably wouldn’t have generated all that much attention. (And where’s the fun in that anyway, right). But, knowing their audience and knowing what’s trending in the world right now, the brand has really gone above and beyond with their PR and marketing and have revelled in success as a result of all of this.

The pre-campaign sell in

Playfully imitating the iconic Apple brand marketing, Greggs teased their latest product to the world yesterday with a short promotional video. Making comic references throughout to the product; comparable to the likes of an iPhone. On paper looking back at that sentence, it sounds totally wacky. How can you even make a sausage roll remotely similar to a smartphone? Well, you can apparently, and the real deal advertisement actually really works. In fact, it’s done much more than simply that – it’s been phenomenally successful for them. And for that, their marketing and social team should truly give themselves a HUGE pat on the back.

Anyone who reads this blog will know how much of a fan I am of a great pre-campaign sell in, it’s what sets apart the good initiatives from the great ones. And ultimately, generating that stir before your product launches helps to secure its success come the day. Though Gregg’s only released their promo the day before the vegan sausage roll came to stores, this has proven more than enough time for them – and come lunchtime I’m seeing articles that some stores have sold out already.

With their promotional video yesterday too, came another unexpected bit of PR for them. Headed back to the saying that ‘all publicity is good publicity’, Piers Morgan outrightly expressing his (one might say over-exaggerated) dismay over the ‘state of our country’ because of a vegan alternative to one of the brands best-selling products, has actually worked wonders for them. In part, this has to be pinned on their callous but super funny reply that, in itself, has picked up around 150,000 interactions.

And not only this, but publications covering the product have also covered (in abundance) Piers’ reaction to it – meaning double the coverage! Tens of thousands of people are talking about his comments on Twitter (be it agreeing or disagreeing – the conversation is still there)… And the product was even aired on Good Morning Britain this morning following Piers Morgan’s distaste for it – publicity, publicity, publicity!

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Kudos to Greggs’ social media team once again, who are hilariously unapologetic in their replies – and who deserve all the praise in the world as a result

Like a blessing in disguise, naysayers who’ve slammed the product have only done well in promoting it instead. That’s exactly how marketing and public relations work, and why they’re essential for every brand.

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Their witty replies have also generated loads of traction on their own, too

The continued creative marketing

As important as pre-campaign sell in is, so is continued marketing of a product (short-win successes on social media are great, but if you can entertain the idea for longer and keep it alive – that’s even better). Admirably, Greggs have that one in the bag, too.

For one, (and there’s an example above) – their canny social media replies are providing them with continued advertising. Because where there are people to ludicrously protest, there are also witty replies to be had, too.  And (like pretty much everything) Greggs seem to have that one nailed as well. Everything about this campaign examples creativity and cleverness, which is exactly how a successful one should be. I truly think brands have a lot to learn from this stunt (and I believe they will, too. Expect more of this kind of thing soon, trust me).

And talking about creativity, I cannot go without mentioning something else I noticed on Twitter this morning also. To support their amusing advertisement in the ‘no-harm-done’ Apple mimicking theme, it would seem the brand has also been sending out samples of their product in an iPhone-eqsue box design to influencers and newspapers. Another stellar move.

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This one was sent to The Sun

Social media shares are worth their weight in gold when targeting a younger audience, and it would seem Greggs are fully aware of this. Tailoring their marketing strategies to aggressively hit hard at the demographic they’re aiming to reach – there’s been no stone left unturned. And of course, as a result of this, on the first day of selling their vegan sausage roll – it’s already been a massive hit. Selling out in stores and being shared on social media by numerous happy lunchers who’ve been waiting for something as revolutionary as this in the veggie and the vegan world for a long time.


All that’s left to say, I think, is a big well done to Greggs and moreover their PR team. Who, by the way, are Havas PR and social media team, Splendid Comms. We’re just 3 days into 2019 and you’ve already executed a stunning campaign which is already at the forefront of, in my eyes, one of the best food-related marketing stunts of all time. Amazing work!

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PR and lifestyle blogger jessica pardoe



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