Approach to Brief

Tenderstem® asked TRO to develop a new sampling campaign for 2015 in line with their wider marketing strategy around the concept of ‘Date Night’, while also including the core elements of previous years’ successful campaigns – wide ranging recipes, high quality Brand Ambassadors (BAs), deep engagements and generous samples.

Tenderstem® has a mild, distinctive flavour and a texture more like asparagus than traditional broccoli. As the name suggests, Tenderstem® has a tender stem so you can eat the whole vegetable, unlike ordinary broccoli. However, Tenderstem® is also more expensive, and traditionally many people see the stem as the less palatable end. Therefore, both education and trial are very important to Tenderstem® marketing.

Tenderstem® wanted this campaign to convey three key messages:

• Taste – a cross between Chinese kale and broccoli

• Versatility – can eat raw, steamed, stir-fried, roasted, BBQ’d or boiled

• All edible – no need to chop the stem

Encouraging consumers to try Tenderstem® in a range of different cooking styles was therefore key to the campaign’s success.

Creative Solution

Space design

We created a stylish, vintage mobile pop-up sampling unit and took it to six different locations around the South East of England. The unit was complimented by a range of high quality rustic ‘crate-inspired’ furniture and plant boxes. The overall look was simple, natural and inviting, and this was further enhanced by the smartly dressed BAs giving out Tenderstem® samples in sleek paper cones.

Engagement activities

Inside the mobile unit a chef prepared a range of warm and cold Tenderstem® samples with different dips and accompaniments. The chef was picked as much for his friendly personality as for his cooking credentials – and he engaged with consumers throughout the event.

These samples were then handed out by the BAs. Large, simple graphics around the space highlighted the wide ranging potential of Tenderstem®, and the BAs used these as talking points with consumers, both inspiring and educating them on how to serve Tenderstem® at home. BAs also gave out Tenderstem® recipe postcards to stand visitors, greatly increasing the likelihood that people will continue to engage with Tenderstem® after the event.

Impact and Effectiveness


The campaign ran for three weeks during July – and Tenderstem® enjoyed a 31% increase in sales during this period (compared to a 17% increase in 2014). Such a significant sales uplift shows a clear link between the experiential campaign and its positive effect on purchasing behaviour.

When located close to Morrisons in Wimbledon Piazza, the store reportedly sold out of Tenderstem® on the day of the activity – another example of how engaged consumers were with the product.


We distributed 34,700 samples over 9 days – an average of 3,855 per day. While this was slightly under target (91%) it was a very impressive daily figure, particularly as 2 of the 9 days saw significant rain, and most of the locations were new to Tenderstem® sampling activity.


In total, 2,030 people interacted with the Tender app – a fantastic 41% over target. All 4,000 recipe postcards were distributed and a number of consumers also posted pictures of themselves on Instagram using #TenderDateNight.