The Thüringer Qualitätszeichen has existed for more than 25 years. It certifies top-quality regional products. However, awareness of the quality mark has diminished over time. Stricter licensing conditions were implemented in mid-2018. Suddenly, far fewer products were eligible the quality mark. The visibility of the quality mark decreased as a consequence. In response to this development, the Thuringian Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture set out to adapt the existing marketing campaign to raise the consumers’ awareness of the quality mark and to appeal to the consumers’ emotions. In addition, the communication also aims to encourage producers to certify their products and to convince retailers to stock a greater variety of products bearing the regional quality mark.
The campaign’s tangible and authentic re-design in early 2019 consisted of biomorphic shapes conceived for use spanning the diverse channels. The campaign was also distinguished by the numerous product icons, enabling the right products or product groups to be advertised and presented to the right target audiences. The advertising included print, online and OOH advertising activities together with other advertising media such as roll-ups, flyers, napkins, cloth bags and much more. The Thuringian Olympic champion Kati Wilhelm now runs a restaurant in the region and serves as an ambassador for the Thüringer Qualitätszeichen in films, at events and via her social media channels.
The campaign focuses on Facebook and Instagram channels together with the campaign website regionalschmecken.de. This website serves as a content hub. The online channels present the producers, products and the region with its weekly markets. In addition, the communication activities share the latest news about products with the quality mark, recommend seasonal recipes and present valuable nutritional trends. In addition, issues such as sustainability, regional added value, quality and transparency are also hotly topics of discussion within the community.
We celebrated our first successes soon after taking on and continuing the campaign at the beginning of 2019. Since then, all of the activities shared an effective and coherent design spanning all channels. This approach also includes all producers and products in these advertising and communication activities. The existing campaign website, regionalschmecken.de, has been redesigned and expanded to act as a content hub. Over 1,000 readers visit the website every month.
The social media channels developed dramatically: The Facebook channel’s follower figures quickly overtook even those of the ministry’s own channel. A social media post on Facebook or Instagram regularly reaches between 15,000 and 100,000 users. In total, more than 5,200 subscribers now follow the Thuringian quality mark via social networks. Print and online advertising activities reach around 3 million contacts every year. The films featuring Kati Wilhelm’s testimonials have achieved almost 65,000 views in total. The campaign has modernised the Thuringian quality mark’s approach to its target groups (in addition to its offline activities) and moved the quality mark into the digital realm. This also enables the quality mark to reach and address a younger target audience. Before now, this group was largely unaware of the Thüringer Qualitätszeichen.