Brilliant! – Hellmann’s serves up food for thought

Do you think Canada is self sufficient? Well, despite all the farms in our country, the chances are very good that most of the food on Canadian dinner tables isn't locally grown (talk about lazy, huh?), and Hellmann's is betting that many Canadians don't have a clue. So, in June it took its 'real food' movement to the next level, following up on two years of its urban gardens program, by putting out a viral video that uncovers some startling facts about the realities of the Canadian food system.

Do you think Canada is self sufficient? Well, despite all the farms in our country, the chances are very good that most of the food on Canadian dinner tables isn’t locally grown (talk about lazy, huh?), and Hellmann’s is betting that many Canadians don’t have a clue. So, in June it took its ‘real food’ movement to the next level, following up on two years of its urban gardens program, by putting out a viral video that uncovers some startling facts about the realities of the Canadian food system.

‘You can see in your grocery stores that there’s not that much fresh Canadian food relative to what you might expect,’ explains Nancy Vonk, CCO at Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather, which developed the campaign with prodco Crush. ‘We saw an opportunity to play the role of educator in pointing out that we should all collectively take action in the opposite direction, which can be nothing short of buying Canadian, locally-grown foods.’

Thus Hellmann’s ‘Eat Real, Eat Local’ campaign was born. In addition to the video, it includes an online portal developed by Toronto-based Dashboard at Eatrealeatlocal.ca. It provides info such as where to find locally-grown food, recipes, expert opinions and a place to make a pledge to buy local food. The video, which drives to the website, tallied 50,000 hits after ten days on YouTube. Online chatter is 83% positive, and at press time it had managed to wrangle up 18 million consumer impressions. ‘We’re going to keep going and hope that Hellmann’s becomes more of an entity that people would recognize for trying to make a difference,’ says Vonk.