Stonemill reinforces slow-crafted message

The brand's new campaign compares its bread making process to the time it takes to build a long-lasting relationship.

Toronto’s Stonemill Bakehouse is hoping grocery shoppers will associate its slow-crafted bread with the time and care that goes into building long-lasting relationships.

New social creative for the Canada Bread-owned brand shows six couples being interviewed about their romantic relationships and answering questions ranging from whether it was love at first sight to whether things went well from the start. From their responses, one senses that while the couples were meant for each other, building their relationships has taken time.

A French spot featuring interviews with Quebec couples ran simultaneously in that market.

The idea for “Great Love Takes Time,” led by agency Mass Minority, came out of visiting the Stonemill plant in Scarborough, Ont., and realizing just how much time it takes to produce artisanal bread, says marketing manager Mary Bewick Clowater. Just like Stonemill products, which derive from a mother dough and are fermented in large tanks for up to 24 hours, allowing them to develop flavours naturally without commercial yeasts, it takes a long time to “create love and to create a long-lasting relationship.”

In addition to reinforcing a core brand attribute, Bewick Clowater says the creative reminds customers that Stonemill’s bread making methods and decision to use all natural ingredients means every piece of bread turns out a little different – much like the relationships explored in the spot.

The company has been focusing on its slow-crafted positioning for some time, according to Bewick Clowater, but the new campaign brings greater emphasis on the idea of slowing down to appreciate small moments in life. “We really want to emphasize that it takes such a long time to make Stonemill Bread, so when you eat it, enjoy the moment.”

Stonemill targets value-based customers who take the time to read labels and search for unique ingredients and processes, Bewick Clowater says, a group that often takes greater interest in healthier food options. It avoids targeting any specific age group, but its core audience tends to be “millennial-minded,” she says.

The brand used Mass Minority’s strengths in data and digital to retarget ads based on their performance on social. In Ontario, the video outperformed the view rates of previous campaigns by 102% on Facebook and 60% on Youtube, while in Quebec, those numbers jumped to 148% and 59%, respectively.

It’s the first time Stonemill has run a campaign in Quebec, where it previously carried only a limited number of products.  As the brand looks to expand its presence, adding additional SKUs to its offering in the province, it has also been running a sampling program with in-store marketing and doing a PR push with the help of Citoyen Optimum.