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December 31, 2010 / joyful plate

A few of my favorite campaigns this year

Not to out do Oprah …… here are a few of joyful plate’s favorite food and beverage campaigns this year. It’s not easy to differentiate food brands. Flip through the magazines, you’ll read a lot of generic tag lines like “here’s to food”, “foods you can feel great about eating”…foodie this and that, blah blah blah. Here are 10 brands that seemed to get their communication right by looking within to find their real character.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese-“You know you love it” is  loaded with insight. Adults secretly love the gooey, creamy and delicious taste of Kraft Mac and Cheese. It’s such a big idea, Kraft seems to have built an innovation strategy around it, introducing a new Homestyle dinner targeted to adults. Humor helps reverse any lingering stereotypes. Annie’s moms will be horrified.

Healthy Choice brought a bit of Ricky Gervais style comedy to food this year. AdLand said it best:  in the “Honest to Goodness” campaign we find a world without verbal filters. Like the food, it’s both crisp and honest with punch lines like “that’s why I stopped sucking up to you for that raise”.  A brilliant way to call attention to their new Steamed Lunches line.

Cheez-It- “Real Cheese Matters”. This laugh out loud campaign features funny vignettes of cheese in the “maturing room” tormenting the technician with knock knock jokes like “what do you call a cheese that’s not yours? Nacho cheese!” It’s Ha ha funny, but totally appropriate for a party cracker.  Cheez-It keeps it real.

Perrier landed on a great strategic insight  and torture test for thirst (melting) and the perfect environment to showcase it (at a late night club). As trends move towards less binge drinking (or at least pacing ourselves with water), Perrier stands to own this space, with quintessential French style. Tres chic, Perrier!

California Almonds-The Almond board of California got it right this year. The “Almonds are inspiring” campaign is strategically driven, and tastefully executed (a rare combination). Around the ad, the benefits of almonds are expressed in a playful and elegant way “inspiring, indulgent, inviting, intriguing, ingenious, integral”. What a way to differentiate almonds from the other nuts out there.

Spice Islands: “What the World Tastes Like”. Discovery is built right into the tagline to differentiate the brand.

Swanson Broth: The Secret is Swanson …. a simple reference to a “secret ingredient” which of course stock is at its most fundamental. Then of course the “Great Stuffing Debate” kicked up the comedic value another notch this year, capturing the wonderful dysfunctionality of our family gatherings at holiday time. Swanson and its agency dug down deep this year to bring relevancy to a tired category.

Campbell’s: “It’s amazing what soup can do” is a campaignable idea big enough for Campbell’s new packaging and positioning refresh. It changes the way you think about soup- no longer just about comfort, soup can help empower your life.

Nestle Coffeemate’s “Add your flavor” keeps this brand fresh as new. The new spot encourages users  to express yourself -(by exploring new flavors as you might with tea or wine for example). The message is delivered in a fun and stylish way.

Le Creuset: It’s like a top of the line sports car for the cooking enthusiast. In the end, it’s a well-made “dutch oven”. But their smart branding makes owning one seem like a right of passage. Authentic and trustworthy, Le Creuset has been used “in the homes of culinary icons past and present”. And yes, I confess that I asked Santa for one – mine came in red this year……

Happy New Year from joyful plate!

(All imagery used to support point of view on advertising/branding).


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