What Can the Great British Bake Off Teach Us About Marketing?

by Figaro Digital

The Great British Bake Off has become a smash-hit across the country, and it’ll be back gracing our TV screens next week.

But, while we eagerly await its return and write our sweet treat shopping lists in preparation, we’ve been thinking: is there any way that watching novice bakers whip up delectable masterpieces can relate to what we do in the marketing world?

Read on and let us know what you think.

Think About How Your Marketing Makes People Feel

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘there’s no point crying over spilt milk’, well you’ll never see more people stress over a soggy-bottomed or poorly-risen cake than on this show. Even the smallest of errors can result in a whirlwind of emotion, despite having nothing to lose, because the contestants are so passionate about the baking competition.

Have you ever had this kind of reaction to something you’ve written or shared on a brand’s social media accounts? If not, it’s time to consider what you want your target audience to feel and how this emotion is likely to translate down your funnel to a conversion.


When your parents are looking over your school report. #GBBO

A photo posted by The Great British Bake Off (@britishbakeoff) on

If it’s happy, why not take a note out of Mel and Sue’s book and try comedy? Making someone laugh is sure to provide positive connotations which will be associated with your brand.

Be Real to Yourself… and the Brand

Despite being on television, there is nothing fake about the contestants on The Great British Bake Off. They are the hairdresser mum from Cardiff or the retiree from Skegness; we see ourselves in them and can relate.

The filming is also very ‘real’. The show may follow a schedule of showstopper and recipe-following challenges, but it’s unscripted and there is always an unpredictable risk that someone might take your ice cream out of the freezer – shocker!

In short, The Great British Bake Off is authentic, and so should your digital marketing be. Skip the contrived, one-shoe-fits-all approach, and personalise your ads, write with the individual in mind and make your brand appear approachable.

Show Off Your Best Bits in a Picture


Let’s face it, we eat with our eyes. We dare you to look at the pictures above and not feel hungry. However tasty a cake is, it’s not going to help you advance to the next round if it’s sunken in the middle or the jam hasn’t set in its centre.

Beautiful imagery can really sell a product or service. Here are a few facts that show this:

• Researchers found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. (Source)
• 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies. (Source)
• Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Source)

Don’t Relegate Yourself… Be Confident in Your Brand

If someone said you were about to watch an hour long programme which filmed people baking cakes, it would probably sound as exciting as watching paint dry. Yet, the latest series peaked at 15 million viewers an episode.

There’s no such thing as a boring product, service or project. It’s all about how you sell it.

How to Get Your Cake Fix

The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens on 24th August 2016, BBC One, at 8pm. We’ll be watching with our laps laden with sweet treats to indulge our cake cravings and see how these marketing points come into play – will you?