2019 SIA Awards: Shiny healthy people

Becel, Michelob and Enercare all tapped into the wellness craze to great effect.

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This story originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of
strategy.

The perimeter of the grocery store is getting a lot more action these days, as plant-based eating and zero-waste shopping steamrolls into retail. Younger gens opt for holistic health over material things, making it the new luxury. But what if your brand’s product has always aligned with this growing demand?

Over the past few years, butter products have been deemed more “natural” and have consequently eroded Becel’s value proposition. But, suprise, surprise: Becel has been using plant-based oils for the last 40 years. Consumers can participate in the hot health movement just by using its spread – a message the brand set out to broadcast far and wide.

Working with Mindshare, Becel partnered with Corus, as well as “vegan-ish” influencer Jillian Harris and dietitian Tori Wesszer to get people cooking with its product. The two came up with plant-based recipes and tips for online and in-store, while the brand brought those meals to life through a pop-up resto, called PLNT. There, everything was made from plants: the furniture, the decor, the dinner ware and, of course, the food.

For a declining category, the Silver Acting on Insights-winning “Power of Plants” campaign turned the tide for Becel: sales volume improved from a decline of 1% to an increase of 6%.

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Faced with similar category declines – beer consumption fell 4.5% from 2011 to 2016 – Michelob stole the wellness show, with a campaign that positioned its Ultra product as a “fitness beer.”

Beer’s biggest rival is wine. Sitting at about 123 calories, wine tends to win over health-conscious consumers. But that’s nothing Michelob’s 80-calorie Ultra beer can’t overcome. It went head-to-head with the preferred drink for active health-conscious folk, showing imagery of Ultra smashing wine’s higher calorie count (and subsequently consumer perceptions). Creative by FCB also showed the crushing weight of wine in billboards, elevator wraps, TSAs and online.
Michelob Ultra brought the idea of fitness and beer together and subsequently moved from the 44th to the 3rd fastest growing beer in Canada in just one year. And the campaign took home a Silver Acting on Insights award.

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There’s ample room for brands outside of food/beverage to tap into today’s health craze. Enercare is one of them.

All heating and cooling companies focus on service and price, but Enercare decided to show that it can offer “home health.” It used the wellness trend as a way to get consumers thinking about a different kind of health: the air and water quality in their homes.

Working with BIMM, Enercare went beyond traditional print tactics to create a Gold Custom Retail and Gold Out of the Box Retail pop-up, called Kare, which sold nothing but the purest H20 and O2, all bottled in packaging that promised improved health. Hidden cameras inside the pop-up captured people’s reactions to the ridiculous products. The video footage was later shared online, which helped increase sales 24%, and proved that a healthy home makes for a happy homeowner.