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SHAKE 'N BAKE shows Canadians how to prepare those other meats.

The Memo

It's a classic war between meat and potatoes. In 1994, Kraft Canada shifted ad dollars away from the Shake 'n Bake meat-coating business to bolster the launch of Perfect Potatoes. Two years later, fewer consumers were bouncing their main course around in Shake 'n Bake bags: Base volume was down 6 percent and market share had slipped 4 percentage points. How could Kraft Canada get consumers to use more Shake 'n Bake?

The Discovery

With the help of Canadian Facts, Kraft sent questionnaires to 2,300 Canadian households to determine how people use meat coatings. Turns out, not many consumers realized that Shake 'n Bake came in several flavors. While 96 percent said they were familiar with Shake 'n Bake Original Recipe for chicken, only 55 percent knew about Shake 'n Bake BBQ for pork and just 40 percent recognized Shake 'n Bake for fish.

Focus groups echoed the sentiment, and several insights emerged that influenced the campaign development. Lapsed users complained that Shake 'n Bake meals were bland and boring. Many weren't aware that there were several flavors for pork, seafood, and different cuts of chicken. Respondents also suggested that Shake 'n Bake meals weren't healthy - some voiced concerns about ingredients, others thought the coating was fattening.

Based on these findings, Kraft enlisted The Karom Group to mail a second survey to households asking them to evaluate three statements about Shake 'n Bake - one concerning how versatile the product was, the other two promoting its low-fat qualities. Results showed that the versatility message did the best job persuading people to buy Shake 'n Bake more often.

The Tactics

But what would be the star of Shake 'n Bake's versatility pitch? Would it be pork smothered in Shake 'n Bake Honey Garlic Glaze? Or pineapple chicken in Shake 'n Bake Teriyaki? BBDO Canada and Kraft went back to consumers and decided to develop spots for pork (to emphasize use on different meats), barbecue chicken (to focus on different flavors), and chicken fingers (to show that Shake 'n Bake wasn't just for bone-in chicken). One humorous spot features two pigs named Wilbur and Arthur who discover, much to their consternation, that Shake 'n Bake makes a coating for pork. "I hear you can make really good pork chops with Shake 'n Bake," says Wilbur. "Really?" replies Arthur, gulping. Silence follows, and then both pigs start to moo. Next shot: a plate of glistening pork chops made with Shake 'n Bake.

Copy testing by Millward Brown confirmed that the spots resonated with Kraft Canada's target consumer - moms who had bought Shake 'n Bake in the last two years and had kids under 18. Based on its strong performance, the "Versatility" campaign kicked off last March with commercials running mainly during daytime and primetime shows.

The Payoff

Talk about shaking up the market. A regression-based analysis by Media Marketing Assessment found that after only eight weeks of advertising, the campaign accounted for 54 percent of Shake 'n Bake's gain in sales volume over the previous 52 weeks. And Wilbur and Arthur better make a run for it: Canadian sales of Kraft's Pork Coating Mix jumped 7.3 percent after the ads launched. Impressed with the work of their North Country colleagues, Kraft's U.S. Shake 'n Bake team tested the spots with Americans and decided to run the ads on their turf last fall.

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