Straight from the horse’s mouth

Masterchef: Personalise Your Palette

It was a quiet Tuesday morning in February when word got out, and homes around the country went digging for their spatulas and frying pans: MasterChef Australia was back! 

The marketing team at 10 play, Network 10’s free on-demand, catch up and live on-air streaming service, were just settling in for 13 weeks of food-induced comas when the brief landed across their desk: bring MasterChef to life for audiences around the country using nothing more than the humble email. 

Cue: jaws hitting the floor. 

But like our talented home cooks in the season’s biggest Pressure Test with just moments left on the clock, we planned to deliver. 

The brief was simple: deliver the tastes, smells, sounds and sights of MasterChef to viewers’ inboxes every week.  

The targets were set: 

  • Increase our member opted in group by 810%
  • Increase total clicks to 10 play website by 35% 
  • Increase engagement on 10 play website 
  • Increase views on articles and additional content 

Our ideas were not so simple. We wanted to take the traditional email and flip it like a perfectly formed pancake and make it interactive, personal, and immersive. We didn’t want to arrive in inboxes each week with images, text, and boring buttons – we wanted to completely redefine the customer experience.  

Our idea was to pull viewers into the show and make them active participants, rather than just passive observers.  

Our strategy was ambitious, but we always cook well under a little pressure: 

  • Craft a clever user journey, ensuring ongoing engagement through the 13-week season​ 
  • Improve personalisation beyond just first name field merges​ 
  • Creative incentives to increase opt-ins to member group​ 
  • Introduce gamification to increase engagement and views​ 
  • Utilise cross-channel in more dynamic ways​ 

The challenge was set, and the stakes were high! Contestants to the kitchen, marketing team to your keyboards… 

The 10 play team chose to approach this challenge with a cleverly-crafted marketing automation campaign to take MasterChef from batch and blast to a fully-functioning, marketing machine! Marketing automation allowed us to collect and use data to personalise every step of the journey and gain valuable insights into our audience, which we then fed back to them (pun intended) in delicious recipes, behind the scenes extras and interactive polls based on what they want. 

To begin, we served up Personalise Your Palate, where we asked followers if they had a sweet tooth, or if they were a sucker for savoury, and once they had joined #TeamSweet or #TeamSavoury, we personalised all of our recipes to suit their tastes. And the clever part? We even gave them the option to switch teams, ensuring we always served up the freshest content for their most recent selection using clever data-management.  

Personalise Your Palate served to increase engagement through dynamic content and encouraged more views on our recipes and articles.   

For those playing along at home, #TeamSavoury devoured a whopping 71.4% of our followers and was a clear favourite. Cheese and wine, anyone? 

Next up, we had The Fourth Judge. There was a Fourth Judge, we hear you gasp?! Yep, in fact there were thousands of them! Forget sitting on your couch with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and yelling at the TV that Depinders’s ginger, chai and poached pear half-pipe croissant was clearly superior to Tommy’s Bánh Mì Danish! We broke down the fourth wall of television by inviting viewers into the show – and straight onto the judging panel! 

We provided our members an opportunity to become the Fourth Judge, casting their vote and opinion on the challenges and outcomes of the show through interactive LivePolls and social media marketing. 

We used The Fourth Judge as an incentive to users to opt-in, knowing how much our audience would be salivating to have their say! Our Live Polls gave followers an opportunity to cast their vote on the previous episode’s outcomes and see instant live results from their fellow Fourth Judges! And to further the experience, we invited them to share their thoughts on Twitter using our hashtag #MasterChefAU. And boy, they didn’t hold back! 

It was the next best thing to being in the MasterChef kitchen! 

The first, and biggest, challenge loomed over us. How do we drive member opt-ins that expand as quickly as our waistlines watching Peter Gilmore make his Golden Crackle? 

That was when Hungry For More was born. 

A clever, never-before-seen tactic in marketing automation where we locked our content, just like a Mystery Box. Our first three emails featured a faded overlay effect which showed content below that was inaccessible unless they opted in. FOMO, anyone? 

It was right there at their fingertips – the latest recipes, articles, behind the scenes footage – but they couldn’t access it without opting in. After clicking to unlock, members were then served up the full email, no course spared! It was delicious, decadent and dangerously effective; our member group increased by an eye-watering 2224%! Yes, you read that correctly – 2224%! 

We let all these ideas, strategies and techniques cook away for 13 weeks straight and at the end, the results…well, they were the icing on the cake! 

Our opt in group increased by 2224%…that’s 155% of our original target. Users loved our personalised content so much that our total clicks to the 10-play website increased by 61.6%! 

Not only this, the MasterChef email campaign was one of the strongest performing campaigns for 10 Play so far this year! For both year to date and season run, the campaign was one of the most successful and was the top performing email campaign with numbers that rival paid-search.  

The campaign was also successful in driving engagement with 10 Play; while most visitors that came via the campaign viewed MasterChef, some also engaged with other titles offered on 10 Pplay (such as The Bold and The Beautiful Fast-Tracked, Australian Survivor, and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

We personalised every twist, turn and tiramisu and delivered a highly personalised, clever marketing automation campaign that took the humble email and made it an experience that our audience ate right up. 

Bon appetite!