Quarterly Food Advertising and Marketing Round-up

After working in nearly every segment of the food industry for over 30 years, we have developed deep category insights into the consumer behavior and motivations that drive the purchasing, preparation, and consumption of food. As part of this process we’re constantly monitoring trends, strategies, and creative work for products and companies in this arena.

Every quarter we’ll publish a random sampling of recent work from the worlds of Commodity, Packaged Foods, and Branded Produce with the purpose of informing and inspiring those with similar interests. Here’s just a few that have caught our attention in the final quarter of 2017.


In the Commodity Foods category, the American Egg Board has shortened its long-running slogan from “The Incredible Edible Egg” to simply the “The Incredible Egg.” Their newest campaign debuted in November with a strategy of versatility (with a touch of humor) and showcases how different personalities like their eggs. There’s a hippie/stoner type who likes them “baked”, as well as a nun who likes them, you guessed it, “deviled.” The ads take eggs beyond simply “fried or scrambled” and shows that the possibilities are endless, making them truly “incredible.”

Another well know commodity group, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has moved on from the iconic “Got Milk” slogan (first created in 1993 for the California Milk Processor Board) in favor of a new tagline, “Milk Life.” The $50 million campaign depicts everyday moments of accomplishment and encourages people to rely on milk’s protein to “milk life” by making the most of every day. MilkPEP has signed a deal to sponsor the U.S. Olympic teams at the 2018 Winter Games, and is currently running commercials featuring American Olympic athletes like Maddie Bowman, while claiming that “9 out of 10 US Olympians grew up drinking milk.” It’s all designed to promote a running theme that healthy bodies “are built, not born.”

Packaged Foods

On the popular TV show Mad Men, Don Draper pitched a daring campaign to Heinz Ketchup executives that proposed to not show the product at all. The Pass The Heinz ads would simply show foods that go great with ketchup, but the actual ketchup would go missing. What was surely a PR move, the fictitious campaign first pitched on the popular TV show fifty years ago has finally become a reality this past year. Displaying across print, outdoor and social media executions, the campaign caught the attention of Mad Men fans, but it still works well even if you don’t get the connection to the show.

Source: Heinz Ketchup Instagram

Source: Heinz Ketchup Instagram

The most buzzed about (and weirdest) recent food spot comes from Halo Top Ice Cream, featuring a futuristic robot force-feeding a senior citizen. A form of subversive “anti-commercial,” the creepy on-line video and theatrical ad has gone viral and garnered extensive coverage on websites including CNET.com, Delish.com, Jezebel.com, Mashable.com and more. Though it may not necessarily make you want to “eat the ice cream, eat the ice cream…” as the robot implores, it certainly gets attention and creates awareness by being anything but vanilla.

Branded Produce

During fourth quarter of 2017, it’s no surprise that much food advertising featured holiday themes. Like this campaign for Sunmaid Raisins. Youtube videos and print ads inform us of Santa’s displeasure with store-bought cookies, and feature both Dasher and Mrs. Claus imploring people to give Santa what he really wants, homemade Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made with Sunmaid Raisins. There’s even a special web page at BakeItForSanta.com with recipes and a photo contest for participants. It’s a fun way to take advantage of increased home baking during the holiday season.

Meanwhile,Wonderful Pistachios launched a new campaign of comedic ads starring Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews as narrators. The $55 million campaign is titled “Put A Smile on Your Snackface,” and features people who have experienced absurd tales of woe, yet can’t help but smile while enjoying Wonderful Pistachios. Take Jim, for example, who is not only constantly chased by tornadoes, but also saw someone else’s life flash before his eyes during a near death experience. The dryly humorous ads are sure to be appreciated by football fans and others alike.

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Kirk Evans VP/Associate Creative Director EvansHardy+Young
Kirk Evans, VP/Assoc Creative Director

Kirk held senior creative positions at McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy in Los Angeles before joining EvansHardy+Young over 20 years ago. He has produced award winning work for multiple EHY Clients including Idaho Potatoes, California Walnuts and several restaurant chains. Previous clients included American Express, Coca-Cola, Columbia Pictures and Post Cereals. Despite being born and bred in New Jersey, Kirk is an enthusiastic surfer.