Becel tickles your punny bone for its latest margarine innovation

An eight-minute compilation of oat-based wordplay is a continuation of the brand's efforts to respond to trends in food.

Becel-OatsBecel is launching another on-trend, “better-for-you” product, and it’s using a variety of oat-based puns to convey the versatility of its oat-based spread.

In addition to shorter cutdowns for pre-roll and other online formats, the integrated campaign promoting the new Becel with oat Beverage includes the brand’s first long-form video. Over the course of eight minutes, Andrew Phung of Kim’s Convenience drops a staggering 154 oat puns – one for each year since Confederation, a celebration of the brand’s Canadian heritage.

While an eight-minute video about margarine creative may seem “oat”-erwhelming, for every pun watched, Becel will make a donation to help providing a meal to a Canadian in need through its Becel Kind Hearts Fund, with a counter keeping track in the corner of the screen.

Mandy Au, brand lead for Becel at Upfield North America, says the brand is trying to understand what consumers are looking for so it can quickly respond. That has resulting in things like SKUs that have contained on-trend ingredients like avocado oil – and now, according to Au, oat beverage demand is similarly “growing like crazy.” 

“If it’s better-for-you, less saturated fat and a healthier profile, it’s something we are considering for the brand,” Au says.

When the company did research to see who is consuming oat beverages, it’s definitely a younger audience, Au says, similar to Becel’s plant-based bricks. And like with recent marketing for Becel’s other SKUs, it’s product versatility that is being emphasized, whether it be using it for spreads or for baking.

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Au says the wordplay is just fun, and people need an outlet as we emerge from lockdowns, and to test how long people can endure all that jocularity if they know it’s for the good of others.

“What better way to bring joy to your life, than through laughter?” Au says, adding that “oat” is easy to turn into a pun.

In Quebec, that’s apparently the case too: there, Becel is working with influencer Antoine, convincing them to temporarily change their name Avoine, the French word for oat. The brand is adding a similar charitable element to support those living with food insecurity in Quebec.

The “Oat Yes We Did!” campaign is focused on online video, and Becel is also leveraging Phung’s social channels. The campaign is being supplemented with in-store and couponing, as well as a continuation of its recipe-focused content across social, digital, email and earned channels.

The campaign also features a few other firsts for the brand. It is working with Spotify for the first time, providing listeners with 30 minutes of ad-free programming after listening to a Becel promo. It is also running an AR Snapchat lens in which users take a personality quiz and get an oat-pun best suited to them.

According to Au, ad spend is comparable to previous efforts.

Edelman developed the creative, with Dentsu handling media and Advantage on in-store elements.