John West decided to put sustainability at the heart of their advertising and move away from price led marketing.
Ever since the TV campaign in 2000 when a fisherman kicked a bear to get to the best tuna, John West has been a much loved brand. However, in 2011, John West were locked into a low-price, high-volume marketing model, battling it out with Princes and own label brands. It seemed as though people didn't care about the quality of the fish in the can and were only concerned with the price. As a result, volume sales were down and margins were being squeezed.
John West needed to inform consumers about the sustainability of their brand, tapping into the increasing interest that consumers were showing for where their food comes from. The campaign needed to give consumers something else to focus on other than price and, as a result, differentiate themselves from their competitors and drive John West back up to brand leader status.
Working with their agency Cheethambell JWT, they came up with the idea to focus on the stories behind the food. Whilst other brands continued to talk about taste and price, John West talked about responsible sourcing and told the story behind each can. In a world first, they created Can Tracker, in which people could type their can code into the John West website and discover exactly where the fish was caught - not just which ocean but the actual trawler that made the catch.
The activity achieved stunning results and turned the brand around. Not only that, it future-proofed the John West brand. The econometrics model demonstrated over £17m increase in sales which can be attributed to the campaign activity.
Through this successful campaign, John West went from being a brand tarred by issues of sustainability to a brand famous for its openness and honesty.