FREEZE FRAMES FOR BIRDS EYE

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They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. However, if you’re willing to pimp out your social media feed to frozen food giant, Birds Eye, there is.

Taking advantage of the food-ography trend that is saturating social networks across the globe, Birds Eye has today launched the Picture House – the world’s first pay-per-picture restaurant – as part of a digital campaign to promote its new range of premium frozen meals.

Diners at the London pop-up restaurant have the choice to either pay for their Birds Eye meal with hard earned cash, or upload images of their plates to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the #BirdsEyeInspiration hashtag and fill up for free.

To add a little credibility to the dining experience, professional food photographers are present to help diners capture their plates in the best possible light – how thoughtful. Although, I can’t help but feel that the professionals are more on hand to monitor, rather than share best practice.

As a PR stunt – measured on coverage – the campaign has definitely worked its magic, racking up column inches across The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Marketing, to name a few. However, only time will tell if the positive results translate through to the company’s social media channels.

My main concern with Birds Eye’s Picture House campaign is how contrived and forced the shared content is. The food selfie is often about showing pride in the culinary masterpiece that you’ve just created, or capturing the local cuisine on an exotic holiday – the Birds Eye snaps are a far departure from this. It’s a pretty transparent exchange that is void of spontaneity.

The general public is often quick to out brands that blatantly bend social media tactics, and I can’t help feeling that this stunt will create a backlash online. Would anyone really choose to pay for a Birds Eye frozen meal when dining out?

To be honest, you really can’t argue with a free meal and if it gets people talking, job done for Birds Eye. The pop-up dining location will be heading North from next month, with venues appearing in Manchester and Leeds. However, I think I’ll stick to paying for my meals out.