HelloFresh brings melodrama to its marketing

The meal kit player taps Schitt's Creek star Annie Murphy for a mock soap opera to put more of a focus on differentiation.

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HelloFresh is messing with soap opera conventions (and using the star of a hit TV show) to show off its clout in an increasingly crowded meal kit category.

Annie Murphy, one of the stars of CBC comedy Schitt’s Creek, also stars in the first episode of “Hungry Hearts”, a mock melodrama complete with soft focus, lugubrious saxophone and a protagonist who has issues with simple cooking and basic staples.

Masha Fuks, director of brand and creative for HelloFresh Canada, tells strategy that the company was previously focused on getting the name and brand out there. As one of the first entrants in the home-delivered meal kit category, it was even more important for the brand’s prior messaging to educate the market about what was, at the time, a unique offering.

But now, Fuks says, the brand felt like it needed to differentiate itself in what has become a crowded meal-kit delivery marketplace. The German-based company came to Canada in the summer of 2016, and since then a slew of competition has sprouted up, such as Miss Fresh, Good Food, Cook It and Chefs Plate (which was acquired by HelloFresh in 2018 and differentiates from its new parent company by offering more customization options). Fuks says this creative is showing off HelloFresh’s brand personality and focus on the tagline, “taking the drama out of dinner.”

 

Fuks says the brand is creating unique content that provides “amazing” entertainment value, with a lot of positive feedback thus far and anticipation for the next series installment. Fuks says it’s planned to be a multi-episode format, and there will be a follow-up with new episodes.

The primary audience, Fuks says, is young families, particularly moms and young professionals who feel time-strapped but still have a desire to cook healthy meals at home. “We all grew up watching these soap operas, and we felt like it was a concept that would resonate with everyone,” Fuks says, and cited the radio serial dramas Procter & Gamble aimed at housewives in the 1930s, as an example of how successful the format has been for multiple generations. “We kind of took a page from that traditional concept, but turned it on its head and satire, uniqueness and more relevance to it.”

However, Fuks says the brand caters to anyone who struggles to provide a home-cooked meal on a daily basis, which can include empty nesters as well.

Taxi handled the creative and the ad spend is in line with HelloFresh’s previous efforts. This is the first project HelloFresh worked on with Taxi, and the campaign is primarily running on digital channels.