Which Vachon cake reigns supreme?

The Canada Bread snack brand taps into the nostalgic passion consumers have for their favourite by putting it to a vote.

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With its latest campaign, Vachon is saying let them eat cake (and vote on it too).

The Bimbo Canada-owned snack maker – which manufacturers Jos Louis, Ah Caramel and Passion Flakie cakes – is inviting Quebec to settle the issue of which snack treat is their favorite.

Campaign elements include a 60-second spot in which co-workers, couples and friends debate the relative merits of each cake. Consumers were urged to cast their vote online and to share their picks on social networks. In 2020, the brand will give away 500,000 of the winning cake.

To further promote the campaign, Cossette created an edible wall on a Montreal street, featuring 1,000 packages of the different snack cakes. Riona Coller, marketing director for the snacking category at Canada Bread Company, says the wall helped to give consumers a better sense of the scale of the giveaway planned for next year.

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The brand’s main insight was that “we’ve become attached to our favourite cake in a way that may be considered a bit irrational.” She adds that the brand knew this would be winning idea while brainstorming with the agency, “because we just couldn’t stop debating between ourselves which Vachon snack cake is the best.”

According to Coller it often hears that people crave its cakes when they see its ads, so the brand was inspired to try to get consumers to “actually eat our OOH.”

“We saw people get out of their cars at the red light to get a cake… even police officers,” Coller says.

The audience, Coller says, is carefree people who love life, and who are passionate and like to indulge in their favorite childhood snacks. She adds that the campaign is consistent with the positioning of previous campaigns, which is all about celebration and enjoyment. That positioning was launched in Quebec in 2017, and brought to the rest of Canada last year.

This spring, there was flooding at the brand’s Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce Quebec bakery, interrupting the supply chain as the the production facility, which shuttered for two months and put 300 employees temporarily out of work. The team worked hard to rebuild it, Coller says, and the brand wanted to make a big splash to celebrate its comeback.

More than 50,000 people participated in the few weeks when the online vote was running. In addition to the spot running on TV and digital channels, there is also a social component in which influencers reveal their own favorite.