How YO!Sushi Created Its First Viral Video

Introduction & Brief:

YO!Sushi is one of Britain’s most popular and successful sushi restaurant chains, with over 90 franchises spread across the globe. Despite this, the company found that although 58% of people are aware of its brand, they were yet to try its dishes. The findings also unearthed a common misconception that the restaurant only serves raw fish. As a result YO!Sushi’s brief centred around raising awareness of its new menu and most specifically educating to consumers the variety of hot and cold Japanese dishes they have on offer.

YO!-Sushi-SingleHaving exhausted their own channels and previous marketing campaigns, YO!Sushi wanted to explore new and different digital avenues – particularly mobile and social – to reach their key audiences and identify new customers.

To reach those new audiences, YO!Sushi partnered with influential media agency Jungle Creations, who are known for creating highly engaging food recipe videos through its Facebook food channel Twisted. As one of the UK’s largest influential media agencies, the company and its content has a vast reach on social media – it guarantees at least one million views for each piece of content it creates.

The audiences for YO!Sushi’s campaign were also closely aligned to Jungle Creations’ – 18-35 year olds, with a 60:40 female:male ratio, meaning they could naturally reach the right people with the campaign.

Campaign Objectives:

  • To raise awareness of YO!Sushi’s new menu amongst new, and existing, customers
  • Position YO!Sushi as a restaurant that serves a variety of hot and cold dishes rather than just raw fish
  • Reach a larger consumer audience through the use of digital and social marketing channels

The Plan:

TwistedJungle Creations proposed a short digital video campaign that would show people how to cook one of YO!Sushi’s most iconic dishes – Okonomiyaki – with a bacon twist. The video would then be seeded out through Jungle Creations’ popular Facebook channel. This approach would allow YO!Sushi to reach a large consumer audience in a small timeframe – just seven days.

The Challenges:

YO!Sushi’s previous marketing, PR and advertising campaigns that were designed to reach large audiences didn’t have the dramatic impact that they had anticipated. Whilst these methods had formed the foundation of their marketing efforts to date, the company was initially hesitant to embark on such a digitally-focused campaign structure.

From a production perspective, the timeline was incredibly tight – Jungle Creations had to condense a day’s worth of filming into a short, engaging cooking video that runs for less than 60 seconds. The team then had to edit and brand the post-production video quickly, finalising the video for release within two days.

The Plan & Execution:

The whole campaign, from planning, filming, editing and execution took place over seven days, from 6th to 13th June 2016.

Jungle Creations developed a content strategy and storyboard for the video, developing YO!Sushi’s original Okonomiyaki recipe – a traditional japanese pancake – into a short, instructive video, aptly named ‘Dancing Pancakes’ (Okonomiyaki) – for viewers to learn how to cook the dish, with a slight twist.

OkonomiyakiFilming the creation of the dish from POV camera view, Jungle Creations then edited and cut the filming down into a short video clip, with their Executive Chef, Mike Lewis, overseeing the process.

Once the video was finalised and subtly branded with YO!Sushi’s logo, it was distributed through Jungle Creations’ popular Facebook food channel, Twisted. It was also posted on Twisted’s own website and handed to YO!Sushi as a white-label video for them to host the video wherever they wanted.

Along with the video, a recipe article was hosted on YO!Sushi’s own brand channel on the Twisted website, giving extended instructions for the recipe, background information about the origins of Okonomiyaki and further information about YO!Sushi’s new exciting menu.

The Results:

  • Within 24 hours, the video reached a total of 4.34 million people around the world, clocking up over 1.2 million views.
  • Over 226,700 people clicked through to YO!Sushi’s branded page on Twisted.
  • With the video being less than a minute long, people spent a total time of 689,850 minutes viewing the YO! Sushi brand.
  • YO!Sushi’s Facebook page following grew by 1136% – more than all of its previous marketing campaigns combined. Its newsletter, sent out to over 50,000 people, had an additional 11% clicking through to the video, increasing engagement with their existing fans.
  • The sentiment and comments on the Facebook video were incredibly positive, with many tagging their friends and planning future visits to YO!Sushi’s restaurants.
  • Due to the video’s popularity, YO!Sushi is now showing the video in all of its restaurants in the UK and US on digital screens.


yo-sushi-25-armed-forces-military-discount“This was by far the most successful digital campaign we’ve ever run”, said Imogen Rossi, Head of Brand Management at YO!Sushi. “Previous advertising, marketing and PR campaigns didn’t come close to the results, reach or impact of this short video campaign with Jungle Creations.”

“As a result, we’re currently exploring the option of rolling out more of these recipe videos for our extended menu, and we’re already projecting the original Okonomiyaki video on screens in our UK and US restaurants as well. These videos are a fantastic way of reaching and engaging with a large audience that sits perfectly within our target age groups.”

Mitch Strong, Head of Partnerships at Jungle Creations, added: “The true power of video marketing was highlighted with this campaign we developed for YO!Sushi. We were able to guarantee one million views of their video before they’d even signed up with us – something they had never been able to reach previously through traditional methods.”

“There is massive demand for video content now, and brands can really leverage this appetite for engaging videos by reaching a large audience with a short, impactful piece of digital marketing. As a result, we’re really pleased to have helped YO!Sushi achieve their objectives, and look forward to working together again in the near future.”

Source: Jungle Creations

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