D’Italiano suits up with the Raps to drive bread growth

From Shopper Marketing Report: The Weston brand created new packaging and a campaign to help fans "#GetThatBread."


You are reading a story from Strategy’s Shopper Marketing Report, which covers the retail partnerships, in-store programs and consumer insights brands are utilizing to influence consumers at the shelf. To have the stories delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday, subscribe to the newsletter.

D’Italiano bread is hooking up with the NBA champs as the Raptors’ official bread and launching “#GetThatBread,” an Ontario-specific shopper campaign with specially designed basketball-themed packaging.

“We did a full creative packaging takeover, our packaging being our number one owned asset,” says Sonia Bongiorno, senior manager, marketing brand build at parent company Weston Foods. “We wanted to leverage it and use it to our advantage, to really stand out on shelf with the promotion and the partnership.”

Mosaic helped the brand create an on-pack promotion where fans who purchase a loaf of specially marked D’Italiano bread have the chance to win seasons and single game tickets. There were also 11 secondary prizes available to be won, each consisting of one pair of Toronto Raptors 2019/2020 single game tickets and finally, 1,370 tertiary prizes available to be won, each consisting of a $3.65 D’Italiano coupon. Corrugates (pictured below) featured the claw Raptor logo and the new tagline, “#GetThatBread.”



The brand’s consumer target overlaps with the Raptors’ millennial fanbase, says Bongiorno. And this isn’t the first time the brand has turned to sports. Previous sports-related Weston partnerships include MLSE and Toronto Blue Jays (Wonder Bread is a partner with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with creative that includes a young journalist sitting down with players to talk about bread sizes and philosophy).

“We are starting to plan for 2020 playoffs and looking beyond to 2021, and [looking at] how to bring in an experiential component around the Raptors partnership or how do we leverage the stadium or outside the stadium for a fan experience” Bongiorno says. Currently, the product is not available at the Raptors’ home at Scotiabank Arena, but Bongiorno says the team is looking to activate next season with an integrated fan experience in the building.

But the brand has developed several promotional activities for outside the store, some of which include paid social campaigns that leveraged assets and influencers and a partnership with Jack Armstrong, Raptors’ play-by-play announcer.

Using the hashtag #AskJack on Twitter, Armstrong will interact with fans, who will be able to win D’Italiano bread for a year. D’Italiano and Mosaic also captured content with Armstrong and cut it into a series of GIFs and Instagram stickers that fans can use to celebrate the team throughout the season.

The bread brand’s previous messaging was around how consumers can “live large,” which Bongiorno says is consistent with the Raps’ ethos.

According to the brand, the contest garnered over 17,000 entries in a six-week period, which they say is an incredibly strong result given that the entry mechanism surrounding in-store purchase and text to enter. It’s similar to benchmarks it sees for online entry contests, which tend to have higher entry rates.

Social results include: 3,250,582 impressions and an engagement rate that was 56% higher than the benchmark, according to Weston insights.