I was intrigued when I came across the latest Birds Eye campaign, bringing together food and social media in a world first ‘pay-by-picture’ concept, which I initially wrote about for The Media Octopus digital marketing blog when it launched in London. As people may know, these two elements are my passions alongside health/fitness and music, so this already sounded like it could be a potential recipe for success.
As part of a £16m push to promote the new ‘Birds Eye Inspirations’ range and to make it more appealing to adults, The Picture House pop-up restaurant allowed diners to sample the new items in an enjoyable, social environment. The twist? The meal would be paid for via a photo taken of the meal and shared on Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtag #birdseyeinspirations. I was thrilled to have won a competition to go down the Manchester venue on Wednesday 25th June at The Pioneer Suite down Canal Street along with my partner in crime, James.
We arrived at an intimate, nautical-themed transformed space where fellow diners were already tucking into their food, which smelt amazing as we were greeted with a smile and seated along with a bottle of wine and a few Becks for the boy. Both self-confessed technology geeks, we were even more excited when we both picked up an iPad to use for the duration of the experience. As well as showcasing the menu, it was logged into The Picture House Instagram account which everyone was encouraged to use, a great addition to pulling in images taken from our own personal accounts on the channel. It was fun to see what others had previously uploaded and made us determined to get some cool ones of our own, too!
Starting with fresh bread served with oil and balsamic vinegar, as someone with a wheat intolerance it pained me to watch James demolish this…he gave it the thumbs up though! Onto the main course, which we had a choice from:
- Garlic & Herb Chicken Inspirations with garden peas, olive oil poached asparagus and romano pepper gremolata
- Fish Chargrilled with sunblushed tomatoes and basil, roasted Jersey Royals, wilted spinach and buttered brown shrimps
- Vegetarian option: Mediterranean Vegetable Rice with smoked aubergine, plus goat’s cheese and herb fritters
It was a tough choice but I settled for the fish option; the cod was cooked perfectly with just the right amount of seasoning, while the Italian herbs were a delicious touch alongside the tomatoes. The addition of the shrimps really brought the dish to life, while the skin-on potatoes were just how they should – crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. James also enjoyed his vegetable-packed meal, especially the cheese-filled fritters and smokiness from the aubergine, which added a punch of extra flavour.
Note: Bird’s Eye Inspirations does not come with the side dishes, this was simply a way for the chefs to show off how the range can be served as a substantial, healthy and easy meal for all to enjoy.
More wine and about 20 photos later, it was time for dessert – we went for one of each:
- Dark Chocolate Mousse with blood orange sorbet and candied orange
- Poached strawberries, crushed amaretti biscuits and ice cream
I can’t say which I prefered but I know from James’ silence that the mousse was a winner. Creamy and sweet, the intense orange flavour resulted in a seriously heavenly dessert, while the crunchy almond biscuits on top were the perfect partner for syrupy strawberries and the creamy vanilla ice cream.
Drinks polished off and desserts demolished, we received our ‘bill’ to confirm we had ‘paid’ for our meal in our picture-sharing currency. A fantastic concept which generated a buzz and got people talking about the #birdseyeinspirations range, it was the ideal way to promote food to reach their target market. We had a great night of playing around with the interactive photo-taking and sharing, while being impressed by the new range from Birds Eye; something we will consider in the future for a quick and tasty meal option!