In order for its dips and cheeses to compete with well-known and well-funded competitors Kraft and Dean's, Heluva Good!'s first brand campaign is using an eye-catching, distinctive, and quirky concept: mad-lib meets ransom note.
Indeed, the “A Mouth Opening Experience,” campaign developed by Heluva Good!’s New York-based agency of record, Protagonist, features a storytelling approach where readers “translate” a cut-and-paste mix of humorous photos, symbols and words to engage with the “Mouth Opening Experiences” in the stories.
Print ads run in People, Cosmopolitan, Better Homes and Gardens, and Food Network Magazine. Later in June, digital banners will debut across various sites, and online video will run subsequently on YouTube and through other online networks.
Still, while this campaign may appear to be a generic national buy, big data is actually responsible for most decisions.
The campaign's brand strategy grew out of market research firm ExactCast, which works with Protagonist and partner Whitman Insight Strategies. ExactCast helped the agency and brand teams identify its “high-value” target — nicknamed the “Snacking Socialites” — as well as messages that motivates them to purchase Heluva Good! and the ideal media channels to drive awareness and purchase.
Ultimately, their research finds these “Snacking Socialites” comprise a wide age spectrum, yet share unifying behaviors and outlooks on life. “They’re fun-loving people who enjoy ‘adventures in their mouths and their minds,’ and who love real food with big, bold taste," says Wyndham Stopford, creative director, Protagonist.
"We’re giving them a taste of that fun, bold snacking experience through all the creative.”
This campaign also represents a shift in media planning. Rather than develop a few seasonal-based campaigns, the food brand will instead introduce new flavors through engaging mini-campaigns via social media this year.
Protagonist’s initial work for Heluva Good!, “The Dippers,” was a humorous social campaign that ran through March Madness and was credited with boosting user engagement on Facebook by 267%.