San Francisco-based School of Thought is using its talents this holiday season to introduce a print and video advertising campaign for its new - and fictional - client, the National Fruitcake Board (NFB).
The Project Fruitcake campaign questions whether taste buds can be “rebranded” in order to boost the positive perception of this widely-ridiculed and oft-maligned holiday gut-buster.
The campaign includes a two-plus minute video that features a real focus group as they weigh in on three fruitcake campaigns suggested by the agency. (One participant notes that he sends fruitcakes as gifts to relatives he "hates.")
One concept, for instance, uses sex to sell the fruit-nutty delight—bondage babe and nude hunk guy holding a strategically placed cake received some positive feedback. (Well, some laughs at least).
Then there was the #FruitDrake proposal that uses rapper Drake and his popularity to start a meme.
The focus-group members take their mission seriously, actually finding some of the ideas worthwhile, while dismissing other concepts, like using the word "lumpy" to sell the old-fashioned holiday treat.
The ProjectFruitcake.com site can arguably be considered "fake news" with numerous print ads as well as statistics, like 74% of all fruitcakes will go unsold, citing the (fake) NFB as the source.
The video link will be sent to clients and friends on gift packages reading, “We wanted to send you a fruitcake but our focus group told us not to.” The gifts inside are a “deconstructed” fruitcake, with three boxes containing apricot hearts, cocoa almonds, and citrus &berry fruttini. The intended result: Holiday cheer.
This is the first time the agency has developed a full-blown holiday campaign other than to create a holiday video. “Last year, we did a 360° virtual reality holiday singalong video. But this was unquestionably our largest-ever baked confectionary holiday campaign," says Tom Geary, ECD, School of Thought.