Barilla turns to Facebook Live to target moms

The pasta brand, which has largely focused on digital rather than TV and OOH, is hyper-targeting moms through tutorial-style posts with chef David Rocco.
Barilla - Facebook Live 1

Barilla Canada is diving deeper into its digital efforts by creating more Facebook Live content in an effort to better engage with its highly social audience.

The pasta brand, which went to market in Canada in 2009, has been concentrating most of its most recent media efforts on social and point-of-sale, following several years of largely experiential efforts. Now, relishing an opportunity to get even closer to fans, it’s taken to Facebook Live broadcasts as a form of brand building.

While its first experiment with Facebook Live late last year starring executive chef Lorenzo Boni in the kitchen received only 5,200 views, it’s since brought on chef David Rocco, who has previously served as a brand ambassador for Barilla’s experiential events, as the centre of its new live digital broadcasts. “We’ve seen that [David] has a great way with audiences during live demos, and we saw that as an opportunity to extend that reach through Facebook Live,” said Adriana Fazzina, marketing manager for Barilla Canada.

Rocco (who is the creator and star of several television shows, including David Rocco’s Dolce Vita on Food Network Canada) has starred in three Facebook Live videos for the brand thus far. The most recent one, which aired Aug. 21, received more than 13,000 views and 2,000 shares, comments and reactions, and, Fazzina said, an overall engagement rate of 11.4%. Fazzina said that’s considered a success for the brand.

Barilla is driving views to the videos with three Facebook posts prior to the live videos, as well as boosting the live video itself and promoting it afterward. Media buying was conducted by OMD, with Zeno Group on PR and 360i on social.

While Fazzina said the sales across demographics are generally quite broad, its tailored most of its Facebook toward moms. More than three quarters of the viewers of the live posts are women, which has resulted in even more hyper-targeted boosting.

The Facebook Live strategy also helps Barilla focus more on the angle of quick, easy meals, Fazzina said, which goes hand-in-hand with targeting busy moms. Prior to this past year, Barilla’s digital efforts focused largely on encouraging families to eat together more, which it communicated through its “Share the Table” campaign (executed through a microsite and contest).

Fazzina wouldn’t share sales or market share, but said the brand has seen continuous positive growth in Canada this year.