Project Description


Roberts Bakery introduced 53% reduced plastic packaging on their best-selling lines in June 2019  to give wrapped bread shoppers the opportunity to buy bread in packaging that is better for the planet and easier to recycle at home. All packs featured the call to action – Rise Up against Plastic.

Souter PR was asked to devise a media relations campaign to raise awareness of the new packaging – available in 300 Tesco stores across the North West and the Midlands – and ultimately contribute to consumers switching to the Roberts loaf in a greener bag.

What we did

Inspired by the call to ‘rise up’, Souters worked with strategic partners at Roberts creative agency Propaganda to create the drone based ‘Bread Arrows’ concept. Souters then staged the first ever co-ordinated fly past carrying the newly paper packaged loaves.

We sourced and commissioned four drone operator partners and developed a choreographed Bread Arrows display which was performed at the bakery in Northwich. With all boxes ticked in the H & S and legal departments (hats off to Roberts H & S team who facilitated it all in record time), there were a few rehearsals and then we were on.

At the same time as planning the display we arranged for individual ‘product drop by drone’ in the days following the event, to environmental campaign groups across both regions. A mix of people from not for profit, schools, universities and local consumer action groups worked with us to add commentary to a tailored news release and staged pix with us to maximise local media interest.

We invited media to the Bread Arrows display getting BBC TV Northwest, PA and regional press to attend. Our own film crew made a 60 second piece of content from it all.

Photography and film of the event were then made widely available to media – including national environment and food and drink journalists. We organised a piece of branded content to be syndicated across all Reach plc titles online which covered the 300 Tesco store network and via Facebook and Twitter.

We followed this up with a Free Loaf for Every Reader campaign in those same print titles getting the 53% Rise Up Against Plastic loaf featured as a front page flash multiple times. And Reach plc supported the promotion with sampling teams in store, communicating directly with shoppers.

The results we helped generate

BBC TV Northwest ran the story – 300,000 lunchtime viewers reached – plus the quirkiness of the branded content – bread arrow drones with bread flying across the sky  – drove excellent levels of engagement online and via social channels in Liverpool, Manchester, Stoke, Derby, Chester and Birmingham totalling 415,000 impressions and 8600 click throughs to the Roberts website.

The regional print and online coverage on the bread drop by drone picture / stories with environment groups was strong reaching a further 500,000 readers.

These took the message local into channels like the Lichfield Mercury, Wolverhampton Express & Star, Chester Standard, Northwich Guardian, Southport Reporter and Cheshire Live sharing the limelight with known advocates for greener living.

As a piece of innovative brand theatre it worked very well and has marked a milestone in the journey to plastic free for Roberts and the bread category as whole. The brand is still pioneering new ideas.

More sustained campaigning is planned to underpin further progress towards an even better solution, to help deliver the long-term reduction in plastic bread bags going to landfill and switching consumers into Roberts – still the first wrapped bread brand giving a greener choice of packaging in the bread aisle.