During the pandemic, home delivery businesses soared and in 2020 Just Eat Takeaway.com NV (TKWY.AS) purchased US Grubhub for $7.3 billion. Then the pandemic ended, TKWY.AS stock fell precipitously. Now it is rebounding. In October 2023, TKWY.AS raised its core profit and cash flow forecasts after returning to growth in Northern Europe, Britain, and Ireland, sending shares in Europe’s biggest meal delivery company up 3%. (Reuters 10/18/23).
Part of what aided the UK turnaround according to Ariella Kurshan, Sr. V.P. of Growth and Marketing, is a campaign featuring Snoop Dogg, running alongside other spots featuring Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry, which launched in late 2020 and continues to run.
Ms. Kurshan reports the Snoop Dogg ad led to a 50% lift in Brand Awareness with a 98% net positive sentiment. Based on that reported success, TKWY.AS decided to simply rebrand the exact UK Snoop Dogg ad for the US, switching out the Just Eats logo for the Grubhub logo. (AdAge 9/26/23).
That calls for some validation and examination. Advertising Benchmark Index™ (ABX) jumped into the analytics, to examine if the copy performance from the UK translated so seamlessly to the US and if Snoop Dogg for food delivery could be as powerful as Snoop for beer, snacks, mobile service, and shoes.
ABX is a leading ad effectiveness and consumer insights company with the largest global syndicated measurement solution that evaluates the effectiveness of ads across all media types, competitors, demographic groups and more over time/brand history.
Snoop Dogg UK versus Snoop Dogg US
The Just Eat campaign in the UK is “Did Somebody Say” launched in 2020. As reported, the ad does very well among the overall Gen Pop with an ABX Index™ of 103. This compares to a category average score of 98. The ad’s success is driven by Awareness where its 109 index compares with a category average of 102.
Just Eat UK Gen Pop (See Ad)
Also, behind those scores, as Ms. Kurshan reported, ABX confirms a high likability, ABX Likability/See Again index of 115 versus a category average of 102. And a high sentiment, ABX Relevant score of 115 versus a category average of 98.
Even more insightful is looking by demo group. According to Verto Analytics, the highest demo groups for food delivery apps are 18-24 and 45-54 each at a 32% share. However, Grubhub in the US significantly underperforms against that younger group. Looking at the UK ad among an 18-34 target, the ABX Index™ jumps from 103 to 121 and the Action score rises from 99 to 134.
So as reported above, when looking for a campaign to revitalize the U.S. business in 2023, the TKWY.AS solution seemed like a no-brainer. Just use modern video technology to change the Just Eat branding on the Snoop Dogg UK spot to Grubhub and export him back to the U.S.
However, it did not work for either the Gen Pop or the younger target. Overall, the US Grubhub spot with Snoop Dogg had an ABX Index™ against the Gen Pop of 90 compared to a US category average of 93 and a 103 ABX Index™ in the UK. The performance among 18 to 34 year-olds falls even further below expectations with a 101 18-34 ABX Index™ in the US compared to a 121 score in the UK.
Grubhub US Gen Pop (See Ad)
Looking to see what factor is driving this, the unfortunate truth is that the US spot had poorer performance than the UK spot on every KPI. Most surprising is an overall dislike for the spot in the US at a 174 index (high dislike index is a negative) compared to high Like score in the UK of a 142 index (high like index is a positive). See all measures below.
Snoop Dogg Grubhub versus Snoop Dogg [Insert Brand]
Snoop Dogg has been a top-selling recording artist since his solo album Doggystyle was released in November 1993 selling 800,000 copies in one week. A milestone for a debut artist that stood unbeaten for ten years. In 2022, following a Super Bowl halftime appearance, Snoop Dogg released his 20th studio album, BODR (Bacc on Death Row). But by the time of BODR, Snoop was selling more as an advertising pitch man than selling his own albums.
Snoop’s spokesperson career started in 2015 but took off in 2020 with his first ad for Corona Extra beer TV spot. The ad was a hit with a Gen Pop audience scoring an ABX Index™ of 114. This compares to a beer category average score of 89. The spot also had a Reputation score of 153 which compares to a category average of 83. The ABX Reputation score is similar to the Net Promoter, which measures how respondents feel about a company or brand after seeing an ad.
Corona Snoop Dogg Ad 2020 (See Ad)
Three years later, Snoop Dogg’s laid-back connection to the Corona brand has grown even stronger with a Gen Pop with an ABX Index™ of 120 and a Reputation score of 175.
Corona Snoop Dogg Ad 2022 (See Ad)
2020 is also the year that the Snoop Dogg Just Eat spot premiered in the UK with strong creative performance. As noted above, the spot did not do well for Grubhub in the US, but more surprising is the 2023 Grubhub US spot is one of the poorest performing Snoop Dogg spokesperson ads overall. And it cannot be explained just by timeframe or Snoop Dogg losing popularity because the Sketchers ad in 2023 featuring Snoop Dogg does very well and Snoop Dogg is coming off a critically acclaimed appearance in the Super Bowl Halftime show.
First Run Date
Tostitos Strips TV (see ad)
Corona Extra TV (see ad)
Sketchers TV (see ad)
T-Mobile (see ad)
Just Eat TV UK (see ad)
Corona Online Video (see ad)
Old Navy TV (see ad)
Grubhub TV US (see ad)
Place, target and context matter. You cannot necessarily transpose creative that works in one market to a completely different market and expect the same results.
You can, however, test in advance and learn before spending. Because ABX uses the same KPIs across all media and in all international markets, we are able to view a competitive side-by-side country versus country or media channel versus media channel, e.g. comparing TV vs. Out Of Home vs. Online Video etc.
Written by Marc Rappin, Advertising Consultant & Contributing Writer, former CMO of ARF