Donald Russell

Enticing new customers with freshly cut creative

Scotland’s finest butcher had enjoyed four decades of success using mail-order deliveries of the best cuts to meet demand from its loyal customers. But with digital channels presenting a mouth-watering opportunity for the brand to reach beyond its traditional audience, campaigns needed to work harder.

Serving up a new look

How refreshing creative stirred new audiences’ appetites

Following a review of Donald Russell’s brand properties by Conran, WPNC set to work overhauling the best-performing existing creative. This “brand wash” of the look and feel of executions such as press ads and inserts marked the starting point of bringing the butcher into a new era, and included new creative and better photography of the meat. Tone of voice was also refreshed.


The work needed to make an impact across new styles of advertising that Donald Russell hadn’t tried before, not least digital channels. Executions were aimed at attracting a younger target market for the brand, more likely to engage online, while not losing focus on the staple, existing 65-plus audience.

Craft in the spotlight

A return to storytelling helped reach new customers

The creative had a fresher feel, but more needed to be done to hook the new audience. Storytelling was the answer. The brand is rich in heritage, craft and quality. It has been awarded a Royal Warrant (held continuously for 24 years) and is served in many top UK restaurants. These were all tremendous assets to build on to attract a wider audience by telling the tale of “Scotland’s Finest Butcher”. The creative was tested and tweaked to make it work as hard as possible in new channels.

Storytelling went away for a while. Work was focused on price and offer, and story was forgotten. But lots of people now want to read about values, so brands are going back to their roots to talk about heritage, provenance and craft.

John Watson, Chairman and Chief Executive, WPNC

A digital focus

Finding foodies via new channels

Up to now, Donald Russell’s media spend has been almost exclusively offline. But acquisition levels needed a boost, so a refreshed communications focus was required. Ecommerce, supported by a refreshed website, online advertising and video content, will be key for engagement of both new and existing audiences.

Collaborating for creativity

Joining forces to tell the brand’s story

WPNC works closely with Donald Russell and its media and PR partners to widen the reach of the new storytelling campaign. There’s plenty of content for audiences to chew on, with articles in foodie magazines and Sunday newspaper supplements highlighting the butchers’ craft, the succulent cuts available, and the heritage and quality that led to the Royal Warrant. Social media, video content such as Facebook clips, SEO and PPC are all being used to boost the butcher’s presence and get the new audience more involved with the brand.

WPNC’s knowledge and experience in the sector, as well as enthusiasm for response-driven communications, made the agency a clear choice. The team is pushing us to trial new things for the brand which helps us connect with more of the current audience and also bring in our next generation of consumers.

Paul Adams, Marketing Director at Donald Russell

Developing responsive tv advertising

After a rigorous development process, we’ve come up with a new way to put Donald Russell’s amazing products in front of consumers – this time on TV. Working with the chefs and butchers at Donald Russell, we shot a wonderfully appetising ad designed to leave audiences salivating and eager to try a new way to buy top quality steak. Early signs are very encouraging, as we’ve already hit nearly double our forecast of new customers acquired.