Ogilvy puts the snack back into pickles

Pickles may not be the first thing to spring to mind when you open the fridge in search of a light snack, but Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather is trying to change that with a new campaign to promote pickles as a healthier alternative.

Pickles may not be the first thing to spring to mind when you open the fridge in search of a light snack, but Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather is trying to change that with a new campaign to promote pickles as a healthier alternative.

Markham, Ont.-based Robin Hood Multifoods faced the challenge of changing the perception of the crunchy vegetable with the launch of its Bick’s Mini Snack’ems which hit the Ontario market last fall, and have since rolled into supermarkets across the rest of Canada.

‘Our consumer research found that while a lot of people enjoy pickles in sandwiches or hamburgers, many have never considered them as a snack in their own right, although when we mentioned the idea everyone liked the sound of it,’ says Lijana Gleason, product manager at Robin Hood.

‘They are very low in calories and fat so they are a lot healthier than some other snacks. We created these pickles to be smaller so they can be eaten with your fingers or with a fork, straight from the jar,’ she adds.

To let people know about this new snacking option, Ogilvy & Mather created a humorous print and TV campaign to position the mini pickles in the same world as other finger foods.

Two print ads due to launch in late June feature real people dressed in costumes to look like common household snacks. One shows a potato chip with legs and arms, vacuuming the living room with one hand and casually munching on Bick’s Mini Snack’ems with the other. A second ad shows a giant chocolate-chip cookie sitting on the floor watching TV while eating pickles straight from the jar. Each ad bears the tagline: ‘The snack snacks prefer. They’re the no-fat snack with the crunch that can only say Bick’s.’

‘Pickles are inherently funny so the very nature of the product led to the humour behind the ads,’ says Janet Kestin, co-CD at Ogilvy, adding that humour was also the tone of Ogilvy’s earlier work for Bick’s pickles. ‘We wanted to show people in a light-hearted way that pickles make great snacks too.’

National English-speaking magazines including Homemaker’s, Chatelaine, TV Guide and Reader’s Digest will feature the ads during the summer months until October, while French versions will run in publications including Madame au Foyer. A third ad, which ran in various publications in early June and will make further appearances during the summer, features a giant pretzel taking a jar of pickles from the fridge.

The ads target adults aged 35 to 55, with the bulls-eye target being women aged 35 to 40, the primary grocery shopper, according to Gleason.

A TV spot with the same message launched last month on specialty channels and will run until November. ‘Great Little Snack’ shows the back view of what at first appears to be two people sitting in armchairs watching TV. They reach out in turn to take pickles from a jar of Mini Snack’Ems that sits on a table between the chairs. The camera then switches angles to show a front view of the couple, at which point we see for the first time that it is in fact a giant potato chip and chocolate-chip cookie that are eating the pickles.

Credits

Client: Robin Hood Multifoods

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Canada

Creative Directors: Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin

Art Director: Brian MacDonald

Copywriter: Trent Burton

Account Director: Branka Stavric

Account Supervisor: Amelie Roy

TV Producer: Janet Woods

Print Producer: Chris Rozak

Production Company: Untitled

Director: Tim Godsall

Photographer: Bryce Duffy