ACE Bakery wants to be a kitchen staple

Digital creative and a first-of-its-kind program with PC Express aims to give the brand a place outside of special occasions.


ACE Bakery is investing in its brand again after a “quieter year” and a bit of a retail slump thanks to the pandemic.

The brand is launching “Bread to Inspire,” a digital-led campaign whose aim is to broaden occasions beyond special ones so that its bread can be seen as a treat that can be enjoyed any time, according to senior category manager for Weston Foods, Louise Healy.

According to the Weston Foods-owned brand (which George Weston recently announced it plans to eventually sell), ACE consumers purchase its products – which range from baguettes to biscuits and buns – mostly around special occasions, like Easter.

The new “made to be savoured any day of the week” positioning is reinforced in 15-second creative, featuring ACE bread being used in a variety of ways – from an avo and egg toast that makes “Wednesdays worth waking up for” to a grilled chicken open-faced sandwich that “freshens up Friday afternoons.”

The brand will also have video recipes for every day of the week featured on the Loblaw PC Express (PCX) site. In a first-of-its-kind effort, Healy says ACE also working with the Loblaw PCX marketing team to handle a digital sampling program through PCX online orders in select Ontario Loblaw stores.

Healy says the goal is to drive frequency by showing consumers how they can incorporate more of its products into their meals, as some consumers don’t typically include cheese loaf, for example, in their day-to-day recipes.

The brand’s research has also shown that product awareness remains relatively low. “People don’t know what we have on shelf,” she says. This runs the gamut from fresh to prepackaged baked goods. For the creative, ACE decided to focus on ten SKUs that have seen recent demand rise and its latest sourdough (miche and baguette) offerings. 

For the campaign, it’s targeting consumers who love food (but aren’t necessarily foodies) and who take pride in cooking for their families.

To amplify its new messaging, ACE is collaborating with, as well as YouTuber Nikole Goncalves, aka The HealthNut, on digital content. “We are actually not doing TV, which is a bit of a test-and-learn,” Healy says. “We’ll see what the results come back with.”

The ad spend, she says, is definitely higher this year as the brand is adjusting and investing in the brand again. Union handled both the creative and media buy.