The Portuguese chook that put some punch into poultry 

Oporto and Nine’s Powered unit blended Ehrenberg-Bass, Les Binet, Peter Field and Daniel Kahneman’s thinking to drive brand uplift, and sell more flaming good chicken, via Love Island Australia.

It’s been a busy few years of marketing headlines as we’ve observed the clashing of our Australian academic titans, raced to get to better attention metrics, argued over short-term sales tactics at the expense of brand building, and everything in between.

The recent Mi3 podcast with James Hurman and Douwe Bergsma was so deeply refreshing after such a tsunami of “mine is better than yours”. It was almost cathartic one might say, as they talked us through their best ever recipe for building and communicating a brand for success. It felt reassuringly familiar for those of us who treasure our dog-eared hard-cover copy of How Brands Grow (2010), and who managed to download The Long + The Short of It three years later (2013) from the IPA, (we respect those of you who waited patiently for the hard cover to hit our shores).

If we loved Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics Dan Ariely, and his fabulously upside down book Predictably Irrational, it probably whetted our appetite for Thinking Fast and Slow by the extraordinary Daniel Kahneman where System One and Two thinking instinctively made sense as we saw ourselves and how we make choices. The power of emotion in our decision making was perfectly placed front and centre.

If you’ve read this far, you’ll be wondering why a headline about poultry penned by Powered at Nine has anything to do with this? Well, here it is.

We’re a smart, experienced, and deeply engaged group of dreamers, thinkers and doers, who read, debate, argue and then come together in fresh and fabulous ways to bring Nine’s brands to the service of our clients, to help them grow.

That’s what happened when we met Sam Bragg, the CEO of Portuguese chicken brand Oporto.

Clever chickens,
no bird brains

With Powered’s friends at Brand + Story we introduced the real live founder of Oporto to a new generation. Their parents may have hung around Bondi back in the 1980s’ but they had no idea. Talking with Gen Z about Antonio Cerqueira felt right; he was authentic, and he didn’t take himself too seriously. Our client Sam Bragg gave us her trust to explore how we could bring him to life with this audience at Nine.

Brand + Story shot the campaign on location in Southern Europe. Australia met Antonio Cerqueira during the first episode of Love Island Australia. In the launch 30-second commercial the Oporto founder was back home in Portugal looking for recipe ideas, but had also decided to make his own ads. Upon hearing that some young Australians were being held “hostage” on a Spanish island, with little to wear and not much to eat (his interpretation, not ours) he was on a mission to find and feed them. The campaign unfolded as a sequential story of 30 and 15-second spots throughout the series as we follow Antonio on his journey.

Choice of a new generation

Back to the Hurman/Bergsma recipe. What we baked instinctively (thank you Ehrenberg-Bass, Peter Field, Les Binet and Daniel Kahneman) was pretty damn close.

1. We pulled together a commercial model for Oporto that gave them a robust share of voice on Love Island Australia with strong creative cut-through.

2. We didn’t go down a hyper targeting rabbit hole, instead agreeing that anyone watching Love Island Australia and loving QSR was fair game.

3. Sam Bragg was already a fan of Binet/Field and we agreed that Oporto needed to establish its authentic brand story, one that could build over time, to create future demand, not only short-term sales.

4. Mental availability simply means easy to think of in a buying situation. We needed to make it easy for people to go “Oporto!” It was part of the brief to Brand + Story and boy did they deliver. The low-fi, home-made feel of the campaign was talked about in creative circles and amongst our audience (anecdotally). We had a new shout out “Oporto”, we now wave our finger when we want to order more chilli sauce, and more young Australians now know the authentic story of the brand.

5. The beginning, middle and end of this southern European saga was emotionally charged. Classic story telling, with a heroic protagonist, an important goal and finally, salvation. We had Portugal, we had high drama (Australian hostages), we had a less than competent (albeit loveable) home movie maker starring in his own Portuguese chicken ads that looked like they were shot on his phone (some were!) We laughed, we cried, we ordered more chicken.

6. As a challenger brand, the need for creativity that punched above its weight was critical for Oporto. And we had a client brave enough to go with it. We had negotiated the Love Island Australia IP with ITV Studios, to give us licence to play, and we had Brand + Story primed to break the rules for QSR advertising. There wasn’t one glossy hero food shot to be found, just plenty of happy Portuguese and an even happier Antonio.

Did it work, you ask?

We probably wouldn’t be crowing about it if it hadn’t worked, but here are the tracking results* for Oporto with Powered by Nine: 

This was the first year Oporto had sponsored Love Island Australia. Not only did it meet the industry benchmark for a sponsorship, but it also exceeded, with the kind of numbers Gemba is used to tracking for a sponsorship in its third year.

Unsurprisingly, Love Island Australia viewers track with higher levels of engagement with QSR brands, which is exactly why Powered recommended a Love Island Australia sponsorship. Oporto had the highest uplift in the category, from 14 per cent to 24 per cent.

Enjoyment levels whizzed up to 67 per cent versus the TVC average of 52 per cent and personal relevance peaked at 61 per cent versus a 51 per cent TVC average.

The brand was easy to recall, the creative increased familiarity with Oporto, and we were bang on in driving Oporto’s authenticity with our Gen Z audience.

Source: All metrics and measurement via Gemba

Samantha Bragg

Samantha Bragg, CEO of Oporto, is happy: “It’s been a really refreshing and rewarding way to work, coming together as a cross-discipline creative team, with great stewardship from Nine throughout the journey.” 


Contact us for more information on how your brand can leverage the power of Nine to deliver real business outcomes.

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