?”The Great British Bake Off” and why it works

10 years in, “The Great British Bake Off” can teach us something both on content marketing and on successful television properties.

In this post, I want to outline how “The Great British Bake Off” has consistently been a successful television property, but also, by ricochet, show you how media group Quartz dives deep on multiple subjects with its “Quartz Obsession” series, which happened to cover the show’s 10-season history.

The Quartz article digs into the history of the show, how it evolved, but also has great insights into what makes it so popular.

What stands out is how although this is a reality TV show in the most traditional sense, it is a competition that revolves around a very positive atmosphere. Contestants help each other, grab a bite together and seem to fundamentally want everyone to succeed.

This is feel-good content at its best.

Also, throughout its 10 seasons, not that much has changed. And that consistency has allowed the show to retain an audience of raving fans, while also facilitating introduction for new viewers to discover a popular series through the latest episodes, but also letting them binge heavily through a recent partnership with Netflix.

At Toast, we are always on the lookout for the fresh new formats and popular shows that are broadcast here and abroad, but we also take great care in analyzing what has made long-running properties so successful.

And we also apply this thinking when trying to figure out what type of content would work best for one brand or another. In this case, we see how positivity, helpfulness, camaraderie and consistency are key elements of what can make a branded entertainment series work.

Now it is your turn. Dive, deep, into “The Great British Bake Off” and ask yourself: What can I learn from how this successful format is built?

And in the meantime, see how Quartz’s Obsession series is structured and how fun they make these deep dives into so many different subjects.

Interesting in exploring branded entertainment opportunities for your brand let us know and schedule a consultation with our experts at Toast today.

Best practice: Mailchimp’s content style guide

Since 2015, Mailchimp has made its content style guide available online, becoming an inspiration for many.

Do you use Mailchimp? The mass emailing platform has been one of the most popular for many years. Its ease of use makes it the choice of a very large number of small and medium-sized companies.

If you have already experienced the platform, you may have noticed that it has a personality. Through its interface, its emails, its help documents, Mailchimp has a tone of its own, a way of speaking that is unique to it.

This tone and voice are documented in a style guide that is fully available online, publicly, under a Creative Commons license.

Robert Mills of GatherContent spoke with Erin Crews of Mailchimp about their style guide, its structure, its use, etc.

The article goes in-depth on what makes a style guide like this one an essential tool throughout the organization, not just for writers and the marketing team.

As Erin mentions, the guide is widely used by “non-content” teams, such as designers and developers, who can make sure that their work stays true to the brand.

Obviously, at Toast, we believe that every brand should have a style guide. It does not have to be as comprehensive and massive as Mailchimp’s, but any foundation for alignment and growth is an excellent start because:

  1. Your style guide must make sure that your content always has the same voice, the same tone.
  2. Your style guide must also allow you to eventually increase the rate of content production, to ensure that as your organization grows, your content remains faithful to your brand.

You would like to develop a style guide for your brand? Simply contact us and we can discuss this together.

Of tone and emojis

From the 🙂 of the 90s to the pile of poo of today. There’s a whole story here!

It is rare that in a language, we are lucky enough to have a new batch of letters at our disposal. Could emojis really be considered as new characters?

We will let the linguists debate it.

However, for us, from the point of view of content creators, the advent of emojis has definitely allowed us to easily bring certain nuances to texts that could have been misinterpreted and opened the door to all kinds of uses for these cute yellow (and other colours) faces.

These small characters have definitely taken over social networks, but are also present in press releases and corporate emails.

Emojis are one of the characteristics of the digital age and are now used in our daily lives.

The different platforms, for example, IOS, will even generate new emojis with each software update. Arielle Pardes at Wired has published a very good article on the history of emotions and their meaning in today’s communications.



Another article to look at would be the one made by AppInstitute which makes an illustrated timeline that traces the different highlights of emojis. We invite you to read these articles to learn more about the beginnings of these small characters.

What is even more surprising is that these small icons are used by individuals of all ages and that they adapt to our society.

Platforms are even increasingly trying to produce emojis that are more inclusive, open and are also trying to response to social criticism.

To be continued with the next software update!