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Archant boosts ad revenue, client satisfaction with cooking competition

Home Cook of the Year as published in Devon Life magazine engages Archant's audience.
Home Cook of the Year as published in Devon Life magazine engages Archant's audience.

Bradburys Kitchens was a long-standing advertiser with Devon Life, the No. 1, glossy county magazine for Devon. The advertiser booked a minimum of a page per issue. When the company’s contract came up for renewal, it was keen to be more creative in the way it reached our audience and wanted to utilise all channels. 

Published 13 times a year, our 280-page magazine is packed with lifestyle content relating to the county. The brand also has a Web site audience of 15,000 unique viewers, a social media audience of 33,000, and an e-mail database of 14,000. Devon has a population of one million. Standard rate of advertising is £800 per page.

Discussions took place between the client, its agency, and both the editorial and commercial teams from Devon Life. At these discussions the idea of running a competition to find the Devon Life “Home Cook of the Year” was conceived, building on the huge interest in cooking that has led to many TV shows. 

The process was as follows:

  • The competition and how to enter was publicised in print, online, and through social media. 

  • A shortlist was drawn up. Finalists then cooked their menu at a local cookery school. Three qualified for the final cook-off, which took place at the prestigious kitchen retailer, so the finalists used state-of-the-art equipment. 

  • The winner was presented at the annual Devon Life “Food and Drink Awards.”

  • We created excellent content, which really engaged the reader. All of our media channels were used over a six-month campaign. 

  • In all, the campaign generated £10,000 in sponsorship from the hosting kitchen retailer, his suppliers, and a major supermarket chain, who also supplied all the ingredients.

This was a great initiative in respect to generating good content and distributing it through all of our channels. The creative approach generated new revenue from existing advertisers, all of which were very pleased with the coverage they received.

The competition entry mechanism needed to be simpler to ensure enough entrants, as many readers told us they were put off as they felt they might not be of the required standard, when our aim was for it to be open for all comers. 

Bradbury Kitchens renewed its sponsorship of the competition for a further year, which further demonstrated its success.

About Tim Thurston

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