Things We Love: A Culinary Contest

Culinary Contest for Better than Bouillon

We love working with clients who let us do really fun and innovative things on social media. We recently finished a creative campaign for one of our favorite food brands Better Than Bouillon. The Culinary Inspiration Contest was a great success and we are super excited about the response we got.

culinary contest for Better than Bouillon

Better Than Bouillon fans are truly the best. Not only do they LOVE the product, they are also very passionate about cooking for their families. They’re proud of the recipes that have been handed down from one generation to another and they hold their cooking memories very dear to them. We decided to create a campaign that really played up on this passion and family tradition.

facebook culinary contest



The Culinary Inspiration Contest asked fans to submit a short story “nominating” their culinary inspiration. We received hundreds of amazing stories about Grandmothers, Mothers, Fathers and Friends.Over two rounds of voting the entries went from hundreds, to 25 semi-finalists, to 10 finalists to one grand prize winner. Entrants got their friends and families to vote for them using a custom Facebook tab. This was a really fun part of the contest and we saw engagement increase on the page and fans came back each day to see who was in the lead. After the voting was done, we had one grand prizewinner who ultimately won a Kitchen Aid Mixer.

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In addition to the contest, we created original campaign content featuring Better Than Bouillon Recipes and inspirational quotes from famous chefs and cooks. We also added mini-contests like #TriviaTuesadays to test the knowledge of our fans on culinary history.

All in all this contest was and a great way for us to drum up engagement with the Better Than Bouillon fans and we had a lot of fun doing it.

One Crazy Campaign + One Clever Contest = 11K Entries

Social Media Campaign for Better than Bouillon

Secret ingredient Social Media CampaignIf you haven’t noticed, we get a lot of gratification out of successful campaigns that are dead on strategically. So we just have to brag about the totally awesome Social Media campaign we just finished for one of our favorite clients, Better Than Bouillon. The campaign concept dramatized what our current fans have been telling us all along about Better Than Bouillon: it is their secret ingredient in their cooking arsenal for more than just soup and broth recipes. Using integrated implementation tactics engage fans, expand the audience and generate a ton of buzz for the brand. The creative campaign was able to really drive home the ad message but beyond that we had a ton of fun with our fans, giving away lots of really awesome prizes! Here is how the whole thing went down:

Social Media Infographic for Better than BouillonResearch: Consumer insights from research that was conducted profiled Better than Bouillon’s target audience as self-styled home chefs or casual cooks who think of Better Than Bouillon as their “secret ingredient.” To this audience it is almost a “badge of honor” to know about and use Better Than Bouillon and they are only willing to share their secret ingredient with those who they know will truely appreciate it and use it well. Comprehensive research showed that while brand awareness of Better Than Bouillon is low to moderate, when consumers try Better Than Bouillon, they genuinely enjoy the product and its many benefits and in turn become loyal customers.

Campaign Objective: 
To drive household penetration in an effort to increase trial stimulation, ultimately gaining new users and creating sales growth.

Strategy: Generate trail stimulation by encouraging social sharing and giving away product.

Creative Messaging: Better Than Bouillon is the secret ingredient that makes you a better cook because it adds flavor to any meal, not just soups/broths/gravies.

Implementation Tactics: Show consumers that they can achieve quality and taste of a gourmet meal without the gourmet time, using Better Than Bouillon as their flavor agent. Reintroduce the audience to the everyday uses, general values and most importantly original creative uses through the following tactics:

  1. Content – Included unique ways to use the product, new recipes, general cooking tips and sharing user generated secret tips submitted in giveaway
  2. Campaign Imagery – Infographic, Pinned Image, Profile Pictures – Creative executions that drive the campaign message
  3. Giveaway – Fans were encouraged to share their secrets for a chance to win samples, coupons and super secret prize packs. There was even a chance to taste a brand new flavor, not available in stores.
  4. Facebook Ads – Invited new fans to sign up for the giveaway for a chance to win, generating awareness and new fans.
  5. Blog Features – Encouraging bloggers to share their unique way of using Better Than Bouillon and hosting giveaways on their blogs for their fans.

Results: Social Media Campaign Results

  • Generated over 11K entries
  • Audience Growth over 12K fans
  • High quality user-generated content
  • Created high quality consumer interactions

When Food Brands Go Social—Photo Sharing Platforms Become Your Best Friend

With photo sharing becoming all the rage, it is time for food brands to get serious about serving up delicious photos with social media.  It is no secret that on social networks, photos are all the hype.  There are even social platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr that are completely photocentric, and a multitude of sites and apps like Fiddme, and Foodspotting that are strictly food-based. Why then do some people overlook the value of these graphics and have what seems like endless amounts of text with no images in sight?  It’s time to feed the photo frenzy.

BTB1Photo sharing is powerful and sure to increase engagement on social outlets, especially when it comes to foodtography. There is no better way to market food than visually, so food brands should have a social content strategy that is very heavy with imagery. Food photos are captivating and among the most highly shared visual content, so surely this is an area where food brands can finish strong. For one of our food branded clients, Better Than Bouillon, we use photos on social to compliment the recipes we share. Often generating a huge buzz, we have audience members responding with comments, culinary success stories and recipes of their own.

Visual marketing can be a very influential tool within the Food and Beverage Industry; it fosters more engagement than your average textual post because you are showing and not just telling. People like to see what they are getting, not told. It gives followers a chance to see the end product and it gives viewers ideas about different ways they can enjoy the product.  Show off your product, include pictures with recipes, people enjoying your product or lifestyle photos that convey your brand’s personality. You’ll have viewers drooling over these photos and the best part is, photo sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are fairly low maintenance.  Yes, it is important to keep your content fresh, but beyond the upload and minimal copy, users do most of the work by commenting, sharing, and repining. BTB2

It is likely that your food brand already has a presence on many of these photo sharing platforms, whether you like it or not, your brand has probably been hashtagged. Users upload millions of photos to social sites daily, if you search your brand on these sites you may be surprised as to what you find. If you are not using this to your advantage, then shame on you. It’s a chance for marketers to interact directly with users of their brand and many followers are often very clever; finding new ways to use your product, many you may have never even thought of yourself. It’s also a way of giving your brand a social presence by becoming part of the conversation and making your photos their delicious inspiration.  So foodies, get on board with this trend because it is officially The Age of Photo Sharing. It’s really a no brainer.

Why does Pinterest work so well for some brands and not for others?

Pinterest-Logo-Icon1When crafting your social media marketing plan, it’s hard to ignore Pinterest as a key player. With almost 30 million unique visitors and the fastest-growing social media site on the block, this virtual pinboard drives more site traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. So, you might think that you can just create a Pinterest account and it will grow like wildfire, right? Wrong. It’s proven that Pinterest is an extremely powerful tool for certain brands and not for others — but why? The entire site is a visual experience that allows its users to escape their realities and express their passions, inspiration and interests. To be successful on Pinterest, your brand must be visually enticing, which is why design, cooking and fashion are the top categories pinned daily.

Food brands and products, for example, do particularly well on this platform because they can promote their own products and recipes, while also pin external recipes that are relevant to the product or brand. For instance, one of our clients, Better than Bouillon, pins not only its own products and recipes, but also recipes by other chefs, cooks and foodies that would benefit from the Better than Bouillon flavor base.BTB_Delicious Meals

Designers — particularly interior, fashion and graphic — do well also because their Pinterest accounts allow them promote their own style and services, while also inspiring users for future projects. River Glass Designs, also one of our clients, pins photos of their own work in homes throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland, but it also creates boards that pull inspiration for common home design projects, such as bathrooms and kitchens, from other design experts in the industry. Rather than a spirit of competition within an industry, Pinterest fosters a feeling of unified inspiration and passion for a shared interest.



Just as any social media platform has the potential to be a great marketing tool for you, it’s imperative to ask if it’s the right tool for you. Not every brand can successfully exist on Pinterest, but for the right brand, it could be one of the smartest marketing decisions you make.

Social media campaigns are like traditional advertising campaigns, but more FUN!

You might not relate a social media campaign to a traditional ad campaign, but the two are more similar than you know. Think of routine content and engagement as brand awareness: great for pulling new audience members into the community. However, a continuous stream of company info and press releases will quickly bore your audience. A social media campaign, much like a traditional advertising print campaign introduces an exciting and new ad message that is on-brand and part of a larger strategy. 

Due to the social and fun atmosphere of social media, social networking platforms are well-poised to be a part of a campaign strategy. We at The Cyphers Agency love social media campaigns and have found them to be extremely effective, but only when used strategically and part of a larger plan. We run campaigns for many of our clients, including one just recently launched for  Better Than Bouillon. We’ve built their social media presence from the ground up and campaigns are a big part of our strategy for the brand.

For this particular campaign, we listened to our audience. They had described Better Than Bouillon as the secret ingredient of their cooking — more than just a product for soups, broths and gravies. Our audience members use it for so much more and are proud of the recipes they’ve developed around our product. We wanted to capitalize on that idea and the concept of a “secret ingredient”. The “Secret Ingredient” campaign invites audience members to tell us their secret tip for using Better Than Bouillon and enter for a chance to win one of several prizes we are offering.

The concept is fairly simple, but it builds the idea that Better Than Bouillon is an essential part of any cook’s arsenal, the ace in the hole to make any dish taste good. Asking users for how they use Better than Bouillon gets our fans thinking creatively and provides us user-generated content that we can share to inspire different uses of the product. It’s on brand, thoughtful, part of a larger strategy and will keep our audience engaged.

The art of running a social media campaign is that it must be a part of a larger strategy with its own ad message. Doing giveaways, promotions and offers are great incentives to get your audience interested. However, you must have a strong foundation to build the campaign upon. It’s also a pretty good idea to hire professionals to do the strategizing, creative thinking and management for you. I think I know the name of an agency with a good AMAZING social media team somewhere around here…..