Most innovative use of Facebook 2016 Article icon


Hunt for a hen
Old Speckled Hen

Greene King 
Agency: Popcorn PR

Old Speckled Hen is an English ale that was first brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. But with a strapline Seek out something differerent, Old Speckled Hen’s brewers Greene King were keen to broaden its customer base away from its traditional core of men aged at least 45 to a younger audience of both men and women. It wanted a social media-led campaign that would increase volume sales during the Easter period.

Popcorn PR’s solution was to galvanise Old Speckled Hen’s existing Facebook community and launch a Hen Hunt, its creative spin on the traditional Easter egg hunt. Each week in the month running up to Easter, three mixed media clues were posted on Facebook and Twitter that identified the location of a pop up bars serving free samples of Old Speckled Hen. The bar moved each week to a new location.

An on-pack promotion also saw Old Speckled Hen’s mascot Speckled Henry directing customers onto Facebook to Hunt for a Hen. Bottle collars and shelf talkers were used to promote the hunt when the ale was sold in retailers while 680 pubs, 11 per cent of which were new stockists, were sent beer mats, pump clips and posters to encourage participation.

Geographically-driven Facebook posts were used to push the location clues into the newsfeeds of a target demographic audience in the immediate vicinity, while local media also carried exclusive clues. Elsewhere @SpeckledHenry joined real-time conversations about beer and ale on Twitter.

Those who identified the locations – Bury St Edmunds, London, Manchester and Birmingham – were also entered into a draw to win beer for a year. A ‘free for every reader’ campaign was also secured in the Daily Express.

The campaign was monitored carefully across the month, allowing the strategy to be adapted if necessary. The Facebook posts reached more than 197,000, including an organic reach of 88,000, indicating the viral nature of the campaign. There were also 159,000 Twitter impressions while the #huntforahen hashtag reached more than 800,000. There were also a further 34,000 interactions, such as retweets, on social media.

Ultimately, though, the campaign drove sales. More than 10,000 customers sampled Old Speckled Hen at the pop up bars, and volume sales increased 40 per cent year-on-year, while the value of sales rose 16 per cent. The judges described these as ‘fantastic results’, particularly in light of the campaign’s budget. ‘It was fun, well executed with broader PR opportunities,’ they said.