Maple Leaf relates to parents’ morning struggles

The company puts a twist on its "found footage" approach to bring its "Real Food" messaging to breakfast products.

For its latest campaign, Maple Leaf foods is sending up airbrushed ’90s sitcoms like Full House to highlight its easy breakfast offerings, showing real-life footage of parenting gone wrong.

“Make Weekday Mornings Better” shows kids falling on their backsides and refusing to get on the school bus, parents tripping over drawers, and other disasters, before introducing its line of bacon products that can “make weekday morning easier.”

D’Arcy Finley, VP of brands at Maple Leaf Foods, says that when it was developing the spot, the brand thought that juxtaposing what families really go through with the saccharine sitcom music and theme would best highlight the product category’s ease of prep and healthiness. Finley says Maple Leaf has had recent success with the format, whose authenticity resonates with parents and caregivers that are familiar with the challenges associated with picky or fussy children, especially when it comes to healthy eating. Finley admits he has previously felt uncomfortable doing scripted commercials for a product that’s supposed to be about simplicity and says such an approach should not have artifice or feel like marketing, hence the America’s Funniest Home Videos-style approach.

Finley tells strategy that Maple Leaf wanted to focus on bacon because it has been some time since it had addressed its breakfast line in a while, and wanted to continue to get the word out about its “real food” brand messaging.

When it comes to competition, Finley says it also keeps private grocery labels in mind, because communicating the value of branded products is important when it comes to making consumers want to trade up for them. With private labels, Finley says, consumers that are focused on price don’t necessarily realize they might have options available to them that appeal to other factors, such as health and ingredients.

Sid Lee handled creative elements for the campaign. Finley describes the campaign as having a “medium plus” ad spend compared with other efforts, with mass video and TV, as well as slightly more targeted social elements.