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Sep 30, 2022

Europe’s IR innovators: Ocado takes an animated approach to results

In the third of a three-part series, Tim Human asks award winners what made their IR innovations stand out

Another company that impressed IR Magazine Awards judges with its web content was online supermarket and technology group Ocado. The company picked up the award for best use of multimedia for a digital campaign that supported its 2021 full-year results.

For the project, Ocado created an animation inspired by the five categories of its investment case – leadership, speed, resilience, partnership and problem solving – along with short videos covering each area. The animation also provided the imagery that was used across all communication channels, from social media posts to the annual report.

Chandler Benet, Ocado

‘We aim to lift our results out of a financial silo, engaging as many of our stakeholders as possible, both long-standing and those just starting on their journey with Ocado Group,’ says Chandler Benet, head of IR at the company. ‘The animations helped to bring to life the essence and characteristics of the business in an engaging and accessible way.’

The full-year results announcement – conducted via an online presentation – went ‘hand in hand’ with Ocado Group's annual report launch, which came a few days later, explains Yolanda Valery, the company's group head of digital engagement. 

‘The results phase was structured around a classic ‘pre, during and post’ approach, with the idea of driving registrations first, creating excitement later and extending the content’s reach and shelf life afterwards,’ she says.

‘With regards to the annual report, the animations were the main assets. We kept those for the launch day and post-release campaigns, with a view to engaging readers and attracting them to the document. But we also saw their potential beyond the report’s specific purpose – they offered an opportunity to help raise awareness of the business.’

Gifs with takeaways

Alongside the animation, Ocado produced other media content to support the release of its full-year results. ‘We created a host of assets, including gifs featuring key takeaways laid over some of our most iconic imagery, like the technology in our warehouses,’ says Valery. The online grocer also generated short video assets from its results presentation, such as an interview between the CEO and CFO, she adds.

The hard work appears to have paid off, with Ocado’s campaign registering impressive stats across various social channels. ‘We normally see a spike in traffic around the results and report, with the former being shorter-lived,’ says Valery. ‘As we experimented with formats like gifs and short videos and posted more frequently, without spamming, we drove increased reach and engagement.’

Images from Ocado's results campaign

Some of the best results came from the ‘during’ stage of the campaign, says Benet. Compared with the previous year, reach – the total number of people who see the content – increased four times on LinkedIn and eight times on Twitter and Facebook. Engagement – referring to likes, shares and other interactions – also climbed year on year, with activity on Facebook 20 times higher than before.

What’s more, the animation proved a big hit on YouTube. ‘We decided to promote some of the content from the post-campaign, which meant that one of the animations created as part of the annual results package is now the most-watched video on our YouTube channel, with more than 130,000 views,’ says Benet.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of IR Magazine.