Brilliant: Hellmann’s grassroots effort

In a world full of processed and even synthetic food, many consumers are hungry for more natural choices. Mayo brand Hellmann's is appealing to this with a new guerrilla effort which will set up urban community vegetable gardens and reinforce the brand's 'natural' positioning.

In a world full of processed and even synthetic food, many consumers are hungry for more natural choices. Mayo brand Hellmann’s is appealing to this with a new guerrilla effort which will set up urban community vegetable gardens and reinforce the brand’s ‘natural’ positioning.

‘We’re working to shorten the distance between gardens and tables,’ explains Sharon MacLeod, director, spreads and dressings at Toronto-based Unilever Canada. ‘There’s no question that consumers are interested in eating ‘real’ food…we want to tie the brand back to the ideas of ‘simple’ and ‘natural.”

Hellmann’s sent a DM ‘invitation’ to urbanites in early April to drive them to www.hellmanns.ca from April 9 to May 9 to apply for gardening space. The chosen gardeners will start planting their veggies late this month. ‘We’re going to create [the gardens] in parking areas,’ says MacLeod. ‘We’re looking to reach a mass audience with this. We want to reach people in urban areas.’

The program will run in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, with up to 50 plots in total.

The idea originated at Ogilvy Toronto. Unilever is also working with Toronto-based agencies Segal Communications (groundwork), Dashboard (website), PhD (media) and Harbinger (PR) on the initiative.