CLIENT: KRAFT CANADA
AGENCY: TAXI 2
CAMPAIGN PERIOD: MARCH 2012-JULY 2013
2014 CASSIES AWARD WINNER: GOLD AWARD FOR BEST LAUNCH AND PACKAGED GOODS – BEVERAGE
For Kraft, the challenge wasn’t just launching a new brand. It was leveraging that brand to revitalize powdered soft drinks, a category that had been in decline for five straight years. A further twist was that MiO wasn’t a powder at all, but rather a concentrated liquid water enhancer available in many flavours.
“We knew that subtle changes were not enough to reinvent the category,” says Kraft director of marketing Kristi Murl.
More problematically, Kraft did not want to “cannibalize” existing users. “A lot of consumers – predominantly women – were already buying Kraft, and we didn’t want to plunder our own market. We wanted new users, which we identified as millennial males between 18 and 34.”
Although Kraft had successfully launched MiO in the United States, the company recognized the value of taking a different approach north of the border and wanted a Canadian-specific campaign.
That’s when Kraft looked to TAXI 2. “They were the perfect partner,” says Ms. Murl. “They understood we needed a completely different approach than Kraft buyers were used to.”
The result was a series of engaging, tongue-in-cheek spots. A YouTube video generated a million views in 12 days - 99 per cent of them Canadian, and more importantly, 92 per cent of them millennial males. One interactive spot encouraged viewers to find seven embedded secret videos. Viewers loved it – and quickly shared the link with friends.
“It exemplified the perfect balance between entertainment and information,” says Kraft CMO Tony Matta. “TAXI 2 came at the project with the right blend of collaboration and backbone. They listen to your point of view and build on it, but they also stand up for their ideas and challenge the client – this tension is where great work comes from.”
Mr. Matta says the successful campaign will help consumers identify Kraft as having “the spirit of a start-up and the soul of a powerhouse.”
“The MiO campaign paves the way not just for the introduction of new products, but for tried and true brands that Canadians have used and loved for generations,” he says.
“We knew that subtle changes were not enough to reinvent the category.”
Kristi Murl is director of marketing, Kraft
“It exemplified a perfect balance between entertainment and information.”
Tony Matta is CMO of Kraft
THE COLLABORATIVE RESULT
8 million Number of views the campaign has currently garnered for the MiO YouTube Channel
350% Extent by which sales exceeded the original forecast at year-end
Jeff MacEachern, creative director for TAXI 2, says there’s something fundamental you have to understand about millennial males. “They’re into change. They’re constantly looking for the next cool thing, so with MiO we ran with that, amplifying the notion of change by presenting the product as not just having functional benefits, but as something that changes your boring water into something more exciting.”
Mr. MacEachern and his team used humour as the basis for the campaign, partly because it was a different approach from the way competitors, especially on the sports drink side, were marketing their products, and partly because nobody appreciates offbeat humour like millennial males.
“When it comes to sports drinks, we know not every guy in our audience is going to be the next Sidney Crosby. He’s a guy who loves to play sports and do well for the fun of it, so we decided to play with the lighter side of sports,” Mr. MacEachern says.
Working with Kraft was a real pleasure, he adds. “It’s a great partnership because they’re eager to do great work. They see the value of good creative work and the way it drives results. And they were willing to do things differently. They told us they wanted people to be surprised that MiO is a Kraft product, and people are. They’re surprised it isn’t from some cheeky start-up.”
TAXI chief creative officer Frazer Jelleyman adds that one of the reasons for the campaign’s remarkable success is that both client and agency had the same agenda. “You approach it as if you were going on a journey together,” he says.
He demurs at suggestions that the campaign was “edgy or brave.” Rather, he says, it was simply the right work for the right client, and the evidence for this is partly demonstrated by the campaign’s success at the CASSIES, where it won two gold awards.
“It’s proof that the client put their faith in the right thing,” he says.
“[Kraft] told us they wanted people to be surprised that MiO is a Kraft product, and people are. They’re surprised it isn’t from some cheeky start-up.”
Jeff MacEachern is creative director for TAXI 2
CANADIAN ADVERTISING SUCCESS STORIES
The CASSIES is Canada’s only awards show recognizing the business effectiveness of advertising as demonstrated by rigorous published cases. The ICA (Institute of Communication Agencies) is the driving force behind the event, which is hosted by Strategy magazine and supported in Quebec by the AAPQ (Association des agences de publicité du Québec) and APCM (Association des professionnels de la communication et du marketing).
Now celebrating its 21st anniversary, the CASSIES reflect the ICA’s long-standing dedication to the advertiser-agency partnership and continuous learning. Winning cases must successfully navigate a demanding two-tier examination by senior-level judges. All told, more than 500 success stories have been published in the Case Library at cassies.ca, along with Crossover Notes that point out critical success factors.
Gillian Graham, CEO of the ICA, says that the success of TAXI 2’s MiO campaign demonstrates the commitment of the CASSIES to results. ”MiO shows how to reach a notoriously elusive target – male millenials. But reach them it did, with a quirky campaign, and launch-year sales more than double the ingoing target.”
THE ROAD TO CANNES
For many CASSIES award-winning ad agencies, the next challenge will be to take their best work to France to compete in the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, June 15 to 21.
Officially represented in Canada by The Globe and Mail, the annual Cannes Lions Awards are widely considered a pinnacle of global excellence in creative communications. The Globe also supports young creative talent and effective advertising in Cannes with the Young Lions and Young Marketers Competitions and the Globe Creative Effectiveness Prize.
UNCOVERING THE “BOLD VISION, BRAND NEW IDEAS” OF CANADA’S NATIONAL MARKETING COMMUNITY
Strategy delivers on this tagline via a monthly magazine, daily news, events and initiatives with industry partners – like the CASSIES. Strategy also covers media news through Media in Canada Daily and tracks creativity on stimulant. From Agency of the Year to the Creative Report Card rankings, strategy is the benchmarker of the industry. Check out strategyonline.ca and stimulantonline.ca for Canada’s most innovative and impactful marketing ideas.