Mar 06, 2019 / by Alister Houghton


W Communications used two conveniently named celebrity influencers to help lemon juice brand Jif create cut-through on Pancake Day.

Campaign: Pancake Day
Client: Jif
PR Team: W Communications
Timing: February – March 2019
Budget: None



Jif, the Unilever owned brand of natural strength lemon juice concentrate, has been in existence since the 1950s. The iconic, squeezable lemon is a kitchen table stalwart – particularly on Pancake Day.

In order to champion a classic Pancake Day combination, the agency identified two unlikely influencers; Keith Lemon and Alan Sugar. W suggested that Jif bring them together to feature in a new TV show: Who the flip do you think you are?



W’s brief was to make noise for Jif at this key calendar moment – driving awareness of the product at a time when every other pancake related brand was also trying to create cut-through.


Strategy and implementation

Every year, Pancake Day recipes get increasingly complicated. Yet, what most of us are after is a quick, cheap and tasty pancake. With the nation coveting a simple recipe – what better than the age old classic of lemon and sugar?

W realised that the best way to get quick results from this combination would be to covet two aptly named celebrities; Keith Lemon and Lord Sugar, with the premise that they would co-host a pancake-themed show.

The chat show would feature much loved, influential celebrities revealing the secrets of their success whilst flipping pancakes. The first suggested guest was Piers Morgan – someone Lord Sugar has an infamously sour relationship with!

With such a limited budget, no owned social channels to host the content and an estimated £100,000 in talent fees alone, the agency knew it wouldn’t be possible to actually create the show.

Instead, it focused on crafting a proposal letter to Lord Sugar that was genuinely shareable. By playing it straight, making it funny in all the right places and adding a splash of Jif magic, W knew there was a better chance at garnering organic shares and capturing Sugar’s attention.

While the strategy was high risk – with no guaranteed output, the campaign spend was nothing.


How did Cision help with the campaign?

As Pancake Day approached, W used Cision’s database to identify relevant journalists who would be interested in the story. The agency will be using Cision’s monitoring services to track campaign coverage and target new opportunities.



The letter captured the attention of Lord Sugar’s publicist, who shared a photo to his own Twitter feed. From here, Lord Sugar retweeted out the letter to his 5.3 million followers, prompting Keith Lemon to get involved via the comment section.

Finally, Lord Sugar posted the letter out on Instagram – directly calling for Keith and Piers Morgan to participate while also giving W a PRable asset.

From here, the agency was able to leverage earned media coverage for the campaign, which resulted in a combined reach of 6 million.

With a campaign spend of absolutely nothing, this was a real example of earned influencer activation at its best.

The campaign’s initial results were as follows:

  • Total campaign reach: 6 million
  • Total budget spent: £0
  • Social media engagement: 5.4 million
  • Earned media: Daily Star Online (DUU: 622,360)

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About Alister Houghton

Alister Houghton is UK Content Marketing Manager at Cision, writing and commissioning thought leadership, interviews and opinion pieces covering the earned media, marketing and journalism spheres. As well as working in a variety of roles across the business, he has previously managed media and web content for the British American Football Association.