Filippo Berio Olive Oil has launched the largest national U.S. advertising campaign in its 150-year history.
The imported Italian brand, the leading olive-oil seller in the U.S., will invest approximately $7 million to $9 million on a year-long campaign aimed at further increasing its share as the country's olive oil consumption continues to grow.
Thanks in part to awareness of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and olive oil in particular, U.S. consumption has been growing at an annual rate of nearly 6% for the past two decades, putting the U.S. ahead of Greece, and behind only Italy and Spain.
European brands account for nearly 99% of the U.S. market. However, a 2012 report from Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory Group predicted that U.S.-produced olive oil would reach a 5% share of the U.S. market within five years, based on the establishment of stricter U.S. quality labeling standards and increasing consumer education on quality.
The new Filippo Berio campaign, developed by Colangelo Synergy Marketing (Darien, Conn.), the brand's agency of record since 2002, focuses on conveying that the brand continues to be dedicated to producing high-quality, delicious olive oil based on the principles set forth by founder Filippo Berio. (The brand's parent, SALOV S.p.A., is based in Lucca, Italy, where the brand originated. Wholly-owned subsidiary SALOV North America Corp. markets, sells and distributes the products.)
Taglined "The First & Last Name in Olive Oil," the creative of the campaign, to run through September, focuses on the brand's history of quality.
The television creative takes viewers back in time to the Tuscan countryside in 1867 to meet a young Filippo Berio honing his craft to produce an olive oil he thought worthy of sharing with his friends and family — "scrutinizing every detail in the process, and insisting on only the finest ingredients." The scene then segues to a modern kitchen, showing a woman using Filippo Berio as she prepares a meal.
The commercials will air on a variety of major cable channels, including Bravo, Food Network and CNN, which the brand says will give Filippo Berio "100% share of voice ownership" on television for the category.
The print campaign features vintage photos of Filippo Berio at work, along with the tagline and a new bottle label design that the company is rolling out as part of the national campaign. The print ads will appear in national magazines including Cooking Light, Food & Wine and Real Simple.
That new bottle label now prominently features an image of the brand's founder, alongside his handwritten signature (which has always been on the bottles). Filippo Berio reports that research showed that adding the founder's image to the bottles helped lend credence to the story of the man behind the name, as well as trustworthiness regarding the quality of the product.
Online, the new creative will be featured in a series of flash banners and rich media units on sites including FoodNetwork.com and AllRecipes.com, driving viewers to the Filippo Berio Web site, where users can search and print from a collection of more than 300 recipes.
Commenting on the new campaign, Dave Scheiber, VP marketing for the brand, said: "Extensive quantitative and qualitative research revealed that consumers recognized Filippo Berio as the only olive oil brand with two names – signifying that there was an actual person behind the product – but they craved additional historical information on how Filippo established himself as the olive oil expert within his Italian community. By bringing our founder's story to the forefront of our campaign, we are paying homage to the authenticity, heritage, and craftsmanship that are exclusive to our brand, while further solidifying our position as today's olive oil expert in consumers' minds."
(Similarly, in a recent interview, Filipo Berio U.K. managing director Walter Zanre said: "Brand heritage is the biggest differentiator between us and other brands. We have a founder, we remain a family-owned company, which allows us to maintain his values. Consumer research confirms that heritage and provenance are of huge importance to today's increasingly sophisticated consumer.")
In terms of social media, the Filippo Berio SA Facebook page currently has about 2,100 "likes," while a U.K. Facebook page has about 3,500.The brand's Twitter account has about 3,200 followers. It also has a Pinterest presence.
Filippo Berio is also releasing two new extra virgin olive oil flavors, to hit store shelves later this year. Delicato, "a mild, light-bodied flavor that provides a smooth, mellow taste," and Robusto, a "bold, full-bodied flavor that provides a strong, vibrant taste," will join the brand's current lines of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil and Extra Light Olive Oil.