There’s been a set of videos lately on Instagram that I can’t get out of my mind that I can’t unsee, so I have to write about it and share them with you. Like the earworm of an annoying song lodged in your brain that you grow to love or becomes a guilty pleasure at the very least.

I am a self confessed Bill’s lover and love Bill himself in equal amounts. I pretty much moved to Brighton on the strength of Bill’s breakfasts back in the day and I dare say my wife would leave me for a Bill’s veggie breakfast. So, as a fanboy I follow what Bill’s is doing as one of the strongest brands in our sector and I have also had the pleasure of working on the Bill’s brand to help reposition it for the future.

Bill’s has been through a few changes, in personnel, branding and design over the years, but they look like they have premiumised the brand and offer well with the new look logo, new colourful colourways and changed the luxury nature of Bill’s up instantly with no pussy footing around. So I grabbed my popcorn and waited to see what the new marketing would be like. Fresh ingredients (tick), Overhead shots of meals on flowery plates (tick), Floraly menus (tick), Beautiful interiors (tick), Nod to seasonality (tick), Food influencer collaborations (tick), Bill himself being Bill (tick) etc. All is well and as expected.

Then I had a few WhatsApp messages saying, “Have you seen what Bill’s have done on Instagram?”. So, I checked it out. Video one is a Keystone Cop romp with a couple being let out but set in the 1920s finally entering Bill’s where the colour and normality reappears thanks to Bill’s. It was really fun, brave for Bill’s, different and really stood out. 36,588 views can’t be wrong and lots of positive comments. Next up we have Laurel and Hardy who are on their way to Bill’s. This time 52,674 views.

Maybe these videos are not so weird, crazy and far removed from the brand as we thought? Third video is The Gold Rush where again there is a mix of live action and stock footage to bring the message to life. This time almost 72,000 views. The creative platform actually looks like it has some legs and the 1920s fun / glamour thing is a new thing for Bill’s but actually it seems to work and could be a winner as one of the main forms of communication.

Buzz / Bing - WhatsApp again. “Have you seen the Boris / Bill’s video?”. Oh. This is where my marketing sense starts to tingle as mixing politics with your brand is usually a bad idea. I mean it is a very funny video - especially the stop at nothing part, but usually it does more harm than good and if you look at the comments it did split the audience a touch. However 108,000 views. Maybe I need to reskill and retrain. Two Laurel and Hardy videos return and do well 30,000 and 40,000 views.

Buzz / Bing “Check out Bill’s latest video - hahahaha”. I did check it out and I wasn’t expecting it Mister Bond. Real Bond footage, with live action lookalikes. Shirley ‘Beefy’ singing Gold Burger mixed in with Bond styling of their new hero product - The Gold Burger. It’s crazy and I can’t stop laughing, watching and sharing. In the world of marketing that most people just do beige, Bill’s seems to be throwing the rulebook out the window and it’s working if you look at those numbers. Bond numbers were lower than I would have thought at 32,286. That’s a shame as it deserved more.

Final Buzz / Bing / Marketing sense tingle was for the latest video featuring THE DONALD. This I would not have put out as associating your brand with the most famously divisie human on the planet is never a great move. I just don’t think that any brand needs to go there. The views are low, so I suspect after the initial reaction and comments on Instagram that the creative was not boosted or promoted as much as the others. I would probably take it down even as I don’t think this will age well.

Bill’s were smart on maximising the video campaigns as they would post these videos on social, but would use their other owned media channels well such as website and emails which will help boost views and reach also.

As an outsider, if I had been presented that creative in the first instance, the agency’s feet wouldn’t have touched the floor as I ejected them from the building (hopefully a very high floor). I would have been too brand puritan, uptight and po faced to run them. Bill’s know their business better than I do and what their customers want. The marketing is for your customers that you have identified and as long as it resonates with them to drive the brand equity and perceptions you want to build and you beat your sales targets, then you win. Sometimes it takes something so different to push you out of your comfort zone that might just work.You have to try.

The point of marketing is to stand out, be top of mind of your customers reinforcing what it is you do in the life of your customers to meet their needs. The mini movies certainly create and created buzz amongst my mates, the trade and Instagram fans whilst the other Bill’s posts/activity is building the brand pillars of fresh, seasonal etc. Thanks for these Bill’s as it was a welcome distraction from all of the doom and gloom out there.

Idea – 7/10

Effort vs Return - 7/10

Execution – 7/10

Impact – 5/10 (as mainly social and tactical, so has a short impact)

Summary – 7/10. Bravo Bill’s for being a bit bonkers