Ye Olde Oak

A delicious new website for a household favourite food brand.

  • UX and Design
  • Web Development

In a few words

Ye Olde Oak hot dogs have been a staple of British mealtimes for a long time but as a brand it has become somewhat overlooked in recent years. An ambitious overhaul of the brand identity and its packaging gave Fablr the opportunity to redevelop the Ye Olde Oak website and breathe new life into the wider brand story for Ye Olde Oak. It was a brief we accepted with relish.

Key challenges

Ye Olde Oak is the nation’s No.1 supermarket hot dog by sales, but the brand was underselling itself to consumers as a mealtime choice informed by anything other than price in the supermarket.

To inject more equity and appeal into the Ye Olde Oak range offering, a new identity had been developed that leaned into both its heritage food brand status (since 1949 no less) as well as its position as the favourite hot dog found in food cupboards up and down the country.

With the new design and packaging being finalised for production in Spring 2020, we knew the website would be an important platform for rebooting perceptions of the brand and giving it a true voice and personality.

With the website playing a key role in delivery for the digital strategy and advertising, we quickly needed to storyboard the website and its different content themes, with a view to commissioning and producing a range of brand assets that would be used to identify the brand on both the website and as part of the wider marketing campaign.

Approach

From the outset, our recommendation was to keep the site simple in its scope and structure, and to invest design and creative copywriting resources in the brand-led areas where Ye Olde Oak could be distinctive. Although not a large website in terms of content scope, the website needed to be a fully formed expression of the brand, its values, and the promise made to the consumer.

We designed the different sections of the website experience around the brand story – ‘Why we’re No. 1’, a range of recipes and hot dog toppings that consumers could try at home, and a space where we could communicate the company’s CSR conversation – an area that would be developed further after the site was launched.

The new packaging is backed by a distinctive typographic system that’s modern and confident but with a nod to the brand’s heritage credentials. As we began to envisage the key pages on the site, we could see that it would be the energy and boldness of this typography that would lead the design.

Our first task was to commission photography and video production to generate the website and campaign brand assets. The concept behind these shoots was to celebrate Ye Olde Oak as an everyday food enjoyed by households up and down the land. We identified value in capturing the fun and delicious ‘messiness’ of everyday people making and eating hot dogs and decided to explore how this would be captured in the creative delivery across the website and marketing campaign. We were inspired by the highly saturated colour palette that underpins the brand, so we leant on this to provide the creative direction for lifestyle and recipe photography.

Delivery

We wanted to bring to life the heritage angle – ‘Favourites since 1949’, so we planned and organised a vintage photoshoot to bring a mid 20th century tea time hot dog experience to life – complete with antique props, models and the all important hot dogs. It’s a really fun element in how we can support the story that’s embedded in the brand’s strapline – telling consumers just how long it’s been a staple of UK food cupboards.

Ye Olde Oak isn’t about building an extensive online recipe hub, so this section of the website gave us license to take a design-led approach. The recipe section became a collection of categorised hot dog toppings and recipes, all using the visual aesthetic of a vintage diner menu. We also invested time in producing dedicated Open Graph and Twitter Card graphic assets to optimise the content in the recipe section for social engagement. We can also directly bring traffic who have engaged with Ye Olde Oak recipe videos on social directly to the recipe pages on the website, utilising campaign tracking for the owned content.

Watch this space as the Ye Olde Oak campaign develops in the coming months with its ongoing social campaign and planned experiential marketing activities. We have a range of planned content that will be coming online to support the brand’s PR and marketing as it evolves.

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