CASSIES Gold: ‘It’s all good’ for McCain revamp

Taxi’s campaign announcing the elimination of unpronounceable ingredients leads to a spike in sales and public perception.

GOLD: Packaged Goods Food/Other • GOLD: Best Launch

Situation Analysis: Women who once bought processed foods without a second thought are now beginning to wonder if that’s a good idea. McCain saw this shift and decided to change the way its products are made. Unpronounceable ingredients are out; real ingredients are in, with the new products having to be equal to or better than the current ones and the competition. This meant new recipes for over 70 products. The first wave would be for frozen pizza, pizza pockets and frozen potato products, and this case covered year one of a major long-term effort.

Strategy & Insight: Most moms rely, at least a few nights a week, on convenience food, and many don’t have the time, energy or inclination to scrutinize the ingredients. But if they did, they’d find things that sound as if they belong in a chemistry class. These ingredients are approved by Health Canada, but there’s something about “sodium stearoyl lactylate” that just doesn’t sound right. Then the insight hit – shouldn’t the only ingredient in food be, well, food?

Execution: “McCain. It’s all good” launched in the middle of January 2010 with TV, print, PR, new packaging, internal marketing and a completely redesigned website. TV asked, “What’s in dinner?” and told the “all good” story, with spots for pizza and Superfries. Print delivered the message on a more detailed level and featured products that didn’t get TV support. PR and packaging completed the story.

Results: Sales for McCain Superfries increased 10.5% for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 29, 2011, while Rising Crust and Thin Crust Pizzas were up 8%. The campaign also had a major influence on perceptions. Unaided recall and awareness of the initiative more than doubled between 2010 and 2011, and the Marketing/Leger Corporate Reputation Survey saw McCain jump from 23rd to 13th place in one year – the biggest jump the survey had ever seen.

Cause & Effect: The awareness and reputation results show that the message was getting through. Media spending was at its lowest level in at least seven years. Pricing for McCain fries increased, while promotional pricing in the pizza category was in line with historical levels. Distribution was largely unaltered, and there were no other major initiatives to cause the results.


McCain Foods
president, McCain Canada: Fred Schaeffer; VP marketing: Heather Crees; VP research: Bettie Lye; brand director, potato & appetizer: Mike O’Brien; brand director, pizza & snacks: Jeff O’Neill; brand director, strategy & innovation: Paul Kurvits

Taxi Toronto
VP executive strategic director: Maxine Thomas; CCO: Steve Mykolyn; ECD: Darren Clarke; ACD/copywriter: Irfan Khan; AD: Maria Ward; group account director: Talke Krauskopf; account managers: Karen MacPherson, Abby Yew, Julie McGregor; broadcast producer: Sam Benson; designer: Leo Tsalkos

PR agency: Veritas Communications; media agency: AOR Media Management; promotion/interactive agency: Capital C; packaging design agency: Anthem; production: Code Film, Relish Editing, Tantrum

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