£6 steak pie named M&S’ fastest-selling product, following social media campaign

A £6 steak pie, launched by M&S last week, has been named the retailer’s fastest-ever-selling product, following the success of a social media campaign.

20,000 of the retailer’s ‘Best Ever Steak Pie’ flew off the shelves in just two days, selling 40% more units than initially-expected, sending the supplier, Yorkshire Baker, into 24-hour production.

The product was launched on M&S’ social media, with a video creatively-directed and produced by content studio, Powerhouse. The 29-second video has been viewed 400,000 times on Facebook, alone.

A team of Powerhouse’s directors and operators worked on the seven-day project.

According to the firm’s managing director, Neil Adams, the content brief was simple: “We were tasked with creating a 20-30 second video, specifically for social media, which would literally make the audience’s mouths water, enticing them into stores and driving web traffic.

“The idea behind the campaign was ‘social-first’, so the content had to be highly-shareable, with a ‘feel-good’, food-porn nature.”

The firm developed the concept for the video, which showcases each stage of the pie being made, from production to plate.

“M&S have a reputation for beautifully-crafted food ads, using the industry's best food photographers and film-makers to convey the quality of their products,” continued Neil. “They connect with the viewer on an emotional level, whilst tapping into one of our most basic of needs – to eat! The pie is a classic, feel-good comfort meal, so the colder weather and darker nights certainly helped to sell the product. But it goes to show that beautifully-shot food has an impact on sales.”

The advert crew included creative content director, Tom Gabbutt, technical director, Tony Lendill, and camera operator, Adrian Larkin, who, alongside Powerhouse’s in-house production team, managed the whole project, including food styling.

Talking of the project, Tom said: “The turn-around time on this advert was quite tight, but M&S are always a pleasure to work with because they know what they want and are quick to respond. That’s why we always manage to achieve such tight deadlines and produce such beautiful, statement work. It’s testament to their strong brand.”

Powerhouse began working with M&S in summer 2017 across its food packaging and digital teams. Since winning the retailer’s digital partner pitch in January this year, the firm has shot a number of food adverts at farm locations, its Christmas wrapping range and developed its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign last month.