Miracle Whip Ad Campaign to Spread 'Boring' Mayo Message

New Packaging, Integrations With Lady Gaga, EA Aim to Show Product's Snappy Identity

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- It may have seemed strange that the first look at Miracle Whip's new packaging came with Lady Gaga's controversial "Telephone" video. But the brand has been working hard to develop a snappier identity and remind 18- to 35-year-olds why they enjoyed it spread on sandwiches in their childhoods.

"A lot of those consumers grew up with the brand and loved it in their childhood," said Brand Manager Justin Parnell. "However, it's fallen off their radar. Our goal is to get the brand back front and center in their lives."

To do that, Miracle Whip advertising is popping up in unexpected places, such as Lady Gaga videos. The packaging, from Turner Duckworth in San Francisco, puts Miracle Whip's initials front and center on the label, a design Mr. Parnell said will be eye-catching to consumers from store shelves.

Miracle Whip is also integrated into EA's "Skate 3" video game, set to launch in May, where it will have billboard advertisements and "Miracle Whip" challenges. While Mr. Parnell acknowledges that the video-game audience skews male, Miracle Whip is going after women, too. The brand is spending heavily on the Food Network, for instance.

The mayo alternative has a TV campaign from agency McGarryBowen, Chicago, breaking tomorrow, a follow-up to last spring's "We are Miracle Whip and we will not tone it down." Mr. Parnell declined to quantify a specific sales lift as the result of the campaign, which numerous agency executives have described as a watershed moment in Kraft Foods' creative. Even so, Kraft isn't exactly betting the ranch on Miracle Whip, but spending on the brand is up dramatically, from about $47,000 in 2008 to $15.3 million in 2009, according to Kantar Media.

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The work, breaking tomorrow, says that "mayo's always saying how 'real' it is -- real boring!" That's a clear swipe at not only Hellman's, but also Kraft's own eponymous Real mayonnaise. Mr. Parnell denies this strategy poses any cannibalization risk because consumers are using more than one sandwich spread. However, Miracle Whip is asking consumers to "take a stand" against boring old mayo in favor of "sandwich-kicking taste" on social-media channels such as Facebook.

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