Campaign Strategy: Deconstructing distinctive campaigns: McCormick targets ‘creative cooks’

If cooking is to you what the piano was to Glenn Gould, McCormick Canada's new Gourmet Collection campaign may send you hunting down the nearest grocery aisle.

If cooking is to you what the piano was to Glenn Gould, McCormick Canada’s new Gourmet Collection campaign may send you hunting down the nearest grocery aisle.

The London, Ont.-based spice and herb distributor has asked Toronto ad shop Enterprise Creative Selling, its creative agency for six years, to target home chefs via three print executions. Running in House & Home, Style at Home, Food and Drink, and Vancouver through to the end of the year, the creative aims to drive sales and raise awareness of the breadth of McCormick’s product line, says Kathlene Badeski, marketing category manager, spice portfolio.

Having polled over 1,500 people through focus groups and phone interviews in Quebec, Ontario, and B.C., McCormick found that many people were familiar with its brand cues, such as its glass bottle and green cap, but few associated the products in their cupboard with the brand name. ‘People were thinking, ‘I have cinnamon in my cupboard,’ rather than ‘I have McCormick’s cinnamon,” explains Alison Simpson, president at Enterprise.

This discovery led to the 40-year-old Gourmet Collection’s first ad campaign sporting the tagline ‘the best ingredients in the world.’ Badeski says the timing was right, due to the cachet of ethnic cuisine and a greater willingness to experiment at home.

To distinguish the Gourmet Collection from its core Clubhouse Brand, which has been advertised since 1998, McCormick segmented customers into three categories: ‘creative cooks,’ ‘comfort cooks,’ and ‘must cooks.’

The new advertising targets ‘creative cooks’ – primarily affluent, urban empty nesters with cooking expertise – who are willing to spend the 10% to 25% premium on gourmet product.

With a media budget of $100,000, the advertising aims to ‘win a share of heart, and then a share of wallet’ by showing creative cooks that McCormick understands them, says Simpson. ‘Knowing your niche target is the key to brand credibility.’

One ad features a home chef frying up dishes with the gusto of a conductor leading an orchestra. Two empty boxes for checkmarks appear beside the words ‘Cook’ and ‘Conductor.’ The boxes are unmarked – the creative cook recognizes herself in the image as the conductor, says Badeski.

The second print execution juxtaposes the words ‘plate’ and ‘canvas,’ and the third ‘kitchen’ and ‘playground.’

Client: McCormick Canada

Marketing category manager: Kathlene Badeski

Agency: Enterprise Creative Selling

Copywriter: Andrew Shaddick

Art director: Winston Lee Chan

Business director: Sue Belbeck

Business supervisor: Kerry Young

President: Alison Simpson

Creative director: Paul Wales