Check it out: Dempster’s toasted flip book

To battle stagnation and share decline, the Canada Bread brand makes things personal.

After a year of market research and product development, Dempster’s has unveiled its attempt to rev up its lineup in a flat-to-declining category, says Bryan McCourt, senior marketing director responsible for healthy breads and customer brands.

The Canada Bread brand faced an onslaught of new competition (and big marketing pushes from well-known competitor Wonder Bread), so a year ago, it undertook a product review, mapping out its breads against preferred taste profiles.

What they learned, McCourt says, is Canadians, it would seem, are mosaic-like in their love of breads, differing in everything from sweetness to texture. As a result, the brand relaunched its healthy lineup with seven new flavours. Each new product carries a flavour badge with two descriptors (i.e. Honey and Oat is considered sweet and smooth, while 12 Grain is considered robust and hearty) to help consumers decide which loaf is right for them.

The brand also worked with JWT to roll out a new TV and YouTube push featuring 220 pieces of bread toasted at different times to create a flip-book style commercial (a camera zooms along the toasters as they pop and text is written on various pieces of bread to create the effect).

“What we looked for [in creative] was [to demonstrate] ‘Dempster’s has the right flavour for me,’” he says. He also wanted the creative to educate people on the new flavours available, targeting younger Canadians (age 24 to 50), who were adventurous and mobile. In other words, he wanted to speak  to Canadians willing to try new flavours and tastes.

The campaign might have gone in one of two directions: following successful category campaigns over the past year featuring iconic songs like Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” or James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” the brand explored using another equally iconic song, or going with a custom-made jingle following the success of it recent Tortillas campaign. The brand went with the latter, he says, because the creative tested best.

The campaign will run for the next 13 weeks on TV, with a media buy handled by Maple Leaf Foods and digital banners by Cundari, while in-store was done by Commix. Dempster’s healthy breads will take a break from marketing until the end of 2014, and if the commercial is a success, the brand will roll out again in 2015.