*Warning: may contain buns puns*If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting on bated breath from the moment it was clear Bake Off was moving to Channel 4. Since the shows launch in 2010, viewers have been lulled into a false sense that GBBO with its witty puns, baked innuendos and loveable duo Mel and Sue would forever remain the same. Its sudden acquisition by Channel 4 left many of us feeling like it was more than Iain’s Baked Alaska that would end up binned.Initially a perfectly presented TV showstopper, Bake Off was now to include a rather exotic ingredient to the mix – adverts. BBC’s no advertising policy, an effort to keep the broadcaster independent of commercial interests; in the past brands have had to crumb up with unique and creative ways to catch the eye of the consumer (see Amazon tweet below).
While GBBO tends to invade all online platforms, Twitter in particular has become the destination for all things baked and punny. With over 122.8k tweets sent during the first night of Bake Off this year, there has never been a more appropriate time for brands to get involved in the conversion. In the past brands such as Tesco would plan content based around the themed week – sharing GIFs, memes and questionable (sometimes tear-ible) puns. Because there is no doubt that primetime telly is fueling the ‘dual-screening’ phenomenon, as more and more viewers shift away from traditional TV viewing. The second screen is where content creators, broadcasters and programmers succeed or fail.As Bake Off continues to become an unprecedented spectacle, kitchenware stockists have also benefited from the show’s success. Retailer John Lewis saw a ‘huge spike’ in baking equipment sales as customers aimed to replicate the jaw-dropping bakes on the show. The aptly named ‘Bake Off’ effect, results in viewers stocking up on kitchen products and ingredients in anticipation of the new series. Past research has found that the programme sparks more interest in kitchenware products year-on-year, with sales between 2009 and 2014 rising from £523m to £1.7bn (Mintel, 2015).So it’s no wonder that advertisers were jumping at the chance to place themselves in one of the coveted 17 minute ad slots. It’ll be interesting to see whether brands such as Dr. Oetker and Lyle’s see a large sponsorship pay-off, as they work against the nation’s conditioned belief that Bake Off equals no ads (and vice versa). Pie personally believe that Twitter is where brands are able to make the most of the genuine second-by-second dialogue, making a real impact.Pam Odumusi, Account Executive