Unilever is updating its biggest brand Knorr with a global campaign targeted at a generation raised on supper clubs, superstar chefs, food bloggers and #foodporn.
The "Love at First Taste" effort by MullenLowe asks whether flavor can help you find love. Knorr paired up individuals based on their matching food preferences and made a film showing each couple meeting for the first time over a meal for two. (Knorr is best known for products that add flavor, like sauces and bouillon cubes, but has expanded into side dishes and soups).
Directed by Tatia Pilieva -- creator of the "First Kiss" film which won a Gold Lion at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity -- the Knorr film features similarly moving and intimate moments between complete strangers.
The only rule for the seven very diverse couples was that they had to feed one another -- an idea that immediately fostered closeness between the participants, many of whom were touching, hugging and even kissing by the end of the meal. At least one couple is still together.
Ukonwa Ojo, senior global director, Knorr, said, "Knorr is sold in 87 countries. We could never represent all of them, but we wanted people watching to see the diversity. It feels global -- there's a sense of the world and you can't place where it's shot." Of the ten couples originally filmed for the ad, one was gay, but that pair didn't make it into the final edit.
Ms. Ojo, an American, joined Unilever last August from Reckitt Benckiser, where she was global brand director for Durex and KY. (Before that she was a food marketer as a marketing manager for various General Mills brands in the U.S.) She said that few people realize Knorr is Unilever's biggest brand.
Knorr has also created a Flavor Profiler in partnership with IBM that identifies individuals as one of twelve types -- from Tangy Dynamo and Gracious Grazer to Deap Sea Dreamer or Melty Indulger -- and serves up recipe recommendations accordingly. The brand's research, conducted among 12,000 people in 12 countries, found that 78% of people are more likely to be attracted to someone who enjoys the same flavors.
Read more about the campaign and Unilever's Knorr efforts on Adage.com.