Quaker embraces the cold

The brand's new campaign extends the warmth of its product to Canadian newcomers.

Canadians are familiar with the body-numbing cold that accompanies our winters, but newcomers don’t always know to expect it.

In its new “Warm Welcome” campaign, Quaker is encouraging its customers to help keep new Canadians warm this winter. The program will see the PepsiCo brand donate five cents per box sold of specially marked Quaker oatmeal and granola bars toward the purchase of a winter coat for a newcomer in need, up to a maximum of $350,000.

The campaign is an attempt to extend the Quaker brand beyond food, says Mangala D’Sa, senior director of marketing for Quaker at PepsiCo Foods Canada.

“At its core, what we do [at Quaker] is provide a warm start to the day with our hot cereal. That was the insight behind our change of direction,” D’Sa says.

A video spot includes interviews with newcomer families, revealing their concerns about keeping the kids warm during the winter months ahead. It ends by reminding consumers that Quaker has been “Warming Canadians since 1902,” the year the company was founded.

“It comes down to the fact that Canada has always been, and always will be, a great inclusive nation,” D’Sa says.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada expects 200,000 newcomers every year, and half of them identify as being in need. At its core, D’Sa says, the “Warm Welcome” campaign is about making them feel comfortable and at home.

The brand has tried to contend with oats’ reputation as an older-generation food by reminding families that its products can meet their modern nutritional needs.

The campaign is fully integrated, including TV, social posts on YouTube and Facebook, a website presence, and in-store programs to drive conversion. BBDO led on TV creative, Majestic on the campaign microsite, OMD on media, and Shikatani Lacroix on packaging. The company also partnered with Studio M on social and digital content, Match marketing on the in-store program, and Citizen Relations on PR.