The idea of finding celebrities with food names and putting them in the refrigerator in front of a hungry Davidson also works naturally into the brand purpose behind the spot, which is all about reducing food waste. While Unilever, and specifically Hellmann’s, has come under criticism in the past from some investors for focusing on purpose over purchase, the big jar in the fridge may put that to rest, too.
Both the purpose and the brand have done well with the Super Bowl, which is why it’s willing to re-up again for the most expensive buy in TV, Crook said. Estimates from iSpot.tv peg the Unilever brand’s overall spending on TV at $11 million to $14.5 million each of the past three years, and this year’s reported $7 million price tag for a 30-second spot would consume nearly half that or more.
The Super Bowl is the perfect place for Hellmann's to advertise, Crook said, because it’s at the forefront of the food waste problem in the U.S. In all, 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted, and 43% of that waste is at home, he said. The Super Bowl, with its abundance of leftovers from parties, is the biggest food waste event of the year, he said.
“What we aim to do every year is inspire over 100 million consumers to think differently about food waste,” Crook said. That includes raising awareness of the problem, and, of course, of mayonnaise as a solution ingredient for bringing leftovers to life.
The Unilever brand’s purpose is to reduce food waste by 50% in keeping with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Fridge Night app, which Hellmann’s is promoting for the second year as part of that, has demonstrated an ability to change behavior around food waste, Crook said.
“It’s a large-scale behavioral study,” he said. “We know as consumers go through the process [of using the app] they actually reduce food waste by 46% in their homes.” The app offers up flexible recipes using Hellmann’s to make meals and snacks from leftovers.