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Press Release


Universal McCann London launch General Mill's new Chinese food brand

Universal McCann London launch General Mill's new Chinese food brand

UM London will this week help oversee a major £4m integrated marketing campaign in support of the highly anticipated UK launch of the Wanchai Ferry Chinese food brand, part of extensive General Mills’ portfolio.

The story of the Wanchai Ferry brand dates back to 1977 when a lady named Madam Chong moved to Hong Kong Island from the Chinese mainland.

In order to provide for herself and her two daughters she made dumplings and sold them on the Wanchai Ferry pier. Such was the quality of her recipes she became known as the dumpling queen of Hong Kong and set up her own business in 1984, soon becoming a household name throughout China.

General Mills’ aim to drive consumer take-up of supermarket Chinese home cooking products which when compared to other oriental / ethnic food categories has been way behind in quality, convenience & availability in the UK.  

The Wanchai Ferry product launch is designed to bridge this current market gap whilst also tapping into current consumer trends around the downturn including increased entertainment at home; the rising desire for self-improvement e.g. learning new skills such as cooking & retreating back to core values e.g. spending more time with loved ones

The new Wanchai Ferry recipe kits offer a more involved process for the UK consumer, taking them through a three step process of layering flavours, resulting in the perfect indulgent, mid-week meal solution.  

The product launches with three variants: Bo Lou Pork, Xiang Gu Chicken Recipe Kit, Kung Pao Chicken Recipe Kit, Bo Luo Pork Recipe Kit.  Wanchai Ferry hopes to reach the sales levels of Sharwoods and Amoy and completely shake-up the category.
The multi-layered ATL campaign will kick off with heavyweight nationwide TV support to drive mass awareness before layering-in online, website and seeding work to target ‘Vocals’ – those consumers who are the most infuential and likely to drive word of mouth.  It will run until December ‘09.

The ATL campaign will also feature a press campaign including national titles & commuter press to add scale to the overall launch activity.  In a first for General Mills brands a tightly focused social media tracking and targeting element will also help identify core bloggers & seeds videos to help drive online talkability around the product launch.  An exclusive Wanchai Ferry event will be held at this year’s Taste of London with a yet to be named celebrity.

Saatchi & Saatchi is the agency behind the creative idea for this integrated campaign. The TV, Press, Digital Banners and Website produced by them will all feature the endline ‘Master the Art of Chinese Cuisine’

Other agencies involved in the campaign include Shine (PR) and Innovision (Event Marketing)

Ed Culf, Marketing Director at General Mills had this to say:
“This is the biggest marketing investment put behind a Chinese branded launch in the last five years.  Wanchai Ferry represents the biggest new branded entry into the Oriental category for the last five years.  With our long-standing Ethnic credentials and track record for building market leading brands; and with three exciting flavours, a recipe that truly ensures excellent results every time, Wanchai Ferry stands to be a great success.”

Kiera Crapnell, Account Director at UM, commented:
“Wanchai Ferry is about taking consumers on a journey of discovery through a totally new experience of Chinese cuisine. We wanted our media activity to reflect this by shaking-up current consumer expectations with this market place, inspiring people towards a more involved and rewarding home cooking experience ’’

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