Following the success of its first ever integrated marketing campaign in 2019, GO GYOZA, Asian-inspired food brand itsu has announced the launch of new campaign, ‘take a bao’, to support sales of bao’buns across grocery and restaurant.
Spanning itsu’s 75-store strong dining network, ATL and grocery sector, ‘take a bao’ will hero the brand’s bao’bun products, available fresh to-go from itsu restaurants and in supermarket freezers.
Coinciding with the launch of its latest vegan spicy veg bao’buns, ‘take a bao’ will encourage consumers to celebrate the small wins in life with slogans such as ‘You gave up your seat. Take a bao.’ and ‘Didn’t laugh at Cockfosters. Take a bao.’
First launched last year in a hoisin duck variety, itsu has driven the popularity of the Asian-style dumplings across its 75 restaurants and the frozen grocery sector, with its hoisin duck bao’bun becoming one of the chain’s top selling products within just a week of launch.
The new campaign will promote itsu bao’buns as a fast and tasty street food snack for the UK high street and supermarket freezers in authentic, convenient formats. The brand’s first ever vegan bao’bun, spicy veg, will appeal to the 50% of 25-44 year-olds that admit they are looking for new foods to try as well as those following a plant-based diet. Ideal as a hot snack, side or lunch-to-go, itsu is hoping to persuade consumers choose bao’buns in place of traditional, cold sandwiches.
The 6-figure campaign will run in itsu shops from mid-February, extending to tube advertisements, digital bus stop displays, media advertisements, branded instore freezer activations and digital six sheets outside participating Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Wholefoods stores throughout February and March. ‘Take a bao’ with also be supported across social media, influencer marketing and PR, concluding with a consumer product giveaway that will see hundreds of bao buns given to customers for free at the end of March. Channelling the campaign messaging, the giveaway will reward those escaping the office early and visiting an itsu store between 5-6pm, after showing they have liked itsu’s ‘out a 5, take a bao’ Instagram post.
Commenting on the launch, Klara Pierre, Marketing Manager at itsu said, “itsu’s bao’buns embody our brand mission to bring quality and accessible Asian food to the UK in innovative formats, and their popularity is testament to our intense product development and commitment to authenticity. The campaign taps into the insight that bao buns are satisfying and impulsive savoury treats. More than just a product led campaign to drive sales, we wanted to engage with our audience in a fun and relevant way to help build the itsu brand. “
itsu’s 2019 GO GYOZA campaign boosted gyoza sales across grocery and restaurant, witnessing a staggering 40% uplift. With the brand’s integrated marketing campaign model already a proven success, ‘take a bao’ is set the boost the profile and sales of itsu’s latest rising star category, bao’buns.
 Lightspeed/Mintel 2000 internet users aged 16+