We’re only a week into 2019 but there’s already a strong contender for best campaign of the year. Greggs grabbed headlines throughout 2018 with its reactive PR and campaigns and this year is no different.
The launch of a Greggs vegan sausage roll seemed inevitable – there are reportedly over three million vegans in the UK and ‘vegan’ was one of the most requested topics by journalists in 2018.
It was the social strategy that went alongside the launch that received all the attention, particularly when it triggered Piers Morgan into tweeting this:
Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns. https://t.co/QEiqG9qx2G
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 2, 2019
This was the start of a series of anti-vegan tweets from the GMB host. Greggs, already dealing with a few ‘upset’ social media users, replied to Morgan with:
Oh hello Piers, we’ve been expecting you
— Greggs (@GreggsOfficial) January 2, 2019
This simple, inoffensive reply shot the story into the headlines as the company was seen to be ‘hitting back’ at Piers Morgan. With a slow Government-isn’t-back-in-session-yet start to 2019, stories about the vegan sausage roll started to dominate – the Evening Standard reported that Londoners are split on the ‘insanely popular sausage rolls’, while Good Morning Britain presenters (without Morgan) tried them live on air.
Morgan tried one this morning on air, and spat it into a bin.
Greggs scored a whopping result with a single, simple tweet that wasn’t mean or malicious. A later tweet from Morgan perhaps revealed how much he enjoys getting attention this way, while also highlighting Greggs’ success:
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 3, 2019
Other brands joined in on the pro-vegan gently-anti-Morgan tweeting, including McDonald’s:
It’s all about choice Piers, our 4m customers per day come for many different reasons – from famous favourites like our Big Mac and vegan-friendly Fries to our Meals Under range. We look forward to seeing you for your usual order soon 😉
— McDonald’s UK (@McDonaldsUK) January 3, 2019
As well as Pizza Hut and TGI Fridays:
— TGI Fridays UK (@TGIFridaysUK) January 4, 2019
But the media’s attention was only for Greggs’ vegan sausage roll and ‘owning’ Morgan.
So, what lesson have we learned for 2019? Is it this one from W?
— W (@Wcommlondon) January 3, 2019
Or is it the same as every other year: be smart, be responsive and be relatable.
Happy 2019 from your Monday PR Club. Now… where’s the nearest Greggs?