Monday, 21.11.

If there’s a wok, there’s a way

How do you create an emotional connection with a convenience meal – even a premium one such as Maggi Noodles’ new wok-style noodle experience, Maggi Senses - in a world that has been captivated by sophisticated tastes and flavours - among an audience that spends a disproportionately large percentage of mealtimes taking foodie photographs to share with friends on Instagram and Facebook?

Our answer is Hard Wok Life, the YouTube web series that kicked off in May this year to promote Maggi Senses, the new and totally delicious, reimagined noodle experience from Maggi that has all the makings of a wok-style meal, but without the hard work.

The Maggi Senses range was created with the idea of connecting with an audience that has left the noodle category in search of more premium convenience meal options, and the challenge of course, was to create a campaign that would appeal to and connect with this young adult audience.

“If you want to connect with the young adult market in any sort of meaningful way, you have to really break out of the box - not only in terms of media choice, but also content strategy. As the go-to portal for our entertainment-seeking young adult audience, YouTube is the perfect medium for this brand; and the offbeat humour inherent in a series about a wok seeking work couldn’t be a better fit,” says Publicis Machine Executive Creative Director Gareth McPherson.

The series, aptly entitled Hard Wok Life, kicks off with an introduction to Jack and Sandra, a young couple who have just moved in together and finally found a way to share the cooking. Because even Jack can cook up a bowl of delicious slow-roasted chilli chicken noodles, if all it entails is putting a pot onto boil and then emptying the “sacket” of sauce and spices on top. It’s clear that he is enamoured with this new product within the established Maggi brand, with its delicious combination of mouth-watering spices, delicately enhanced by a unique slow-cooked sweet soy sauce.

Unfortunately, while Maggi Senses has brought harmony to Jack and Sandra’s small world, it signals the end of the road for their much-loved wok, who is unceremoniously dumped on the pavement with an assortment of other junk. And so begins the tale of one wok’s quest for purpose - from trying out a new job as a dog ‘wokker’, to hitting ‘wok’ bottom in a charity shop, and taking a ‘wok’ on the wild side with a moustached appliance-addict!

The series comprises eight episodes, each as off-the-wall as the next, culminating in an unlikely reunion as Maggi Senses brings the family back together.

The campaign has hit all the right notes with the South African audience, racking up a total of 1 275 294 views on YouTube and Facebook over a two month period.

“The Maggi 2-Minute Noodle brand has been on the market for many years, and has a well-established brand identity in a specific market. With the launch of Maggi Senses, we wanted to broaden our market appeal and develop people’s awareness and understanding of our new delicious wok-style noodle experience, and it was essential to develop communication that would capture this proposition in a uniquely creative way, breaking through the very cluttered digital environment our audience are faced with” says Maggi representative.

“We believe Hard Wok Life has done just that, and are excited to see the results as more and more woks find themselves out of work!”

McPherson concludes: “We knew we had our work cut out for us when we accepted this brief, but we’ve had a ‘wokking’ good time with the series! It’s not often that you get to work with a client who trusts you enough to create a campaign based around the harsh realities of a wok!”

To view the web series click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UiOdhkZcO4&list=PL0b4coAGOCl5BGnJjr1E-1EIOmbo6kSjW 

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