A story about gyoza, broth… and Gok Wan
It’s been a while since we last blogged as we have found ourselves walking the dog a lot more during lockdown…
But while we were out walking, itsu [grocery] have sold a lot of frozen gyoza. This makes our bosses happy, and when they’re happy, marketing gets to spend more money! As soon as we got the news, we put our heads together to figure out how we could make a difference to the business. That’s when the idea hit us…
Let us tell you the story – there are a few famous faces who buy their lunch at itsu. One regular, however, is known across the country for his sensational style and skills in the kitchen [plus he has a dog].
One day we plucked up the courage to ask him whether he had tried our supermarket range and he said he had dabbled. So, we invited him to itsu HQ for a full-on tasting of our gyoza & brilliant’broth. He was blown away [his words, not ours!]. We were thinking about making some adverts and here was the perfect person to star in them.
We are talking about Gok Wan of course! And Dolly, his fabulous French Bull Dog.
We set about making the ads in between lockdowns last year. All we can say is that COVID supervisors, limited people on set, dog supervisors and a very punchy schedule, created a day that required a lot of G&Ts to unwind from. But Gok was a superstar!
At itsu, we have never made a TV ad, and to say our budget was ‘shoe-string’ is an insult to string. However, Gok guided us through the process. Calm, professional and kind to the last, he made everything a breeze.
frozen gyoza: what are they all about?
So, what are the adverts all about then? Firstly, frozen gyoza. Our gyoza are ‘little parcels of joy’ as Gok says. Packed with restaurant quality ingredients, they’re a bit like a Japanese miniature pastry. We fill, pleat & steam ours then snap freeze them in bags of 12 [or more]. Available in 7 flavours [including veggie and vegan options], they can be found in supermarkets all across the UK.
5 gyoza ‘lockdown lunch’ recipes to get you through the week
- easy gyoza ramen: A super clean gyoza ramen, made simple with our classic ramen brilliant’broth.
- gyoza noodle salad: A filling salad packed full of powerful colours, flavours & textures.
- veg gyoza stir fry: A comforting take on a classic.
- veg gyoza buddha bowl: . Beautiful, delicious, healthy… all good ways to describe this buddha bowl.
- king prawn stir-fry bowl: We’ve swapped noodles for veg in this no-carb broth bowl.
what is broth?
We also made an ad for our new brilliant’broth range. What is brilliant’broth? We’re glad you asked: You know when you go to your local Asian restaurant and your noodles are suspended in a bowl of golden liquid bliss…well that is what we have packed into a handy little carton available in your supermarket chiller.
Julian, our founder, is absolutely passionate about creating Asian inspired food that helps you live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Over lockdown last year, we hear he cooked with brilliant’broth every day and never made the same dish twice.
Whether he was using Asian-style ingredients with noodles and gyoza, stir-fried veg, or even pasta, brilliant’broth was his go-to ‘secret ingredient’ for a healthy and exciting dish. In case you haven’t tried them yet – they are available in M&S, Ocado & Whole Foods in 3 flavours: miso mushroom, chicken and classic.
So today is launch day! We have figured out how to get our ads on YouTube and luckily, we have some pros booking them onto the likes of Channel 4, All4 and Sky Adsmart. All of our social channels will be sharing the love too!
We hope you enjoy watching the ads as much as we loved making them. We have put click throughs on them to a page that shows where you can buy the products, the same as this blog.
Let us know what you think. About the ads and about our gyoza and brilliant’broth. Off to walk dog now…
itsu – eat beautiful