Gardenburger had lost its soul. In 2001, it went mainstream with a 30-second ad on the final episode of Seinfeld, introducing the brand to millions. But it couldn't sustain the spend, so reach and frequency tanked. Sales started dropping just as the alt-meat category began to get increasingly competitive. The once iconic brand had become tired.
Gardenburger brought egg in to revivify the brand and reclaim its position as the right product for New Vegetarians. We directed Gardenburger to reconnect with its core users, tapping into a deep sense of shared values still present. Because the shared values and experiences uniting its initial core audience are so strong, we could convert nostalgic and "classic" into a light-hearted homage with Eat Positive.
After two years of rebuilding equity and sales with Eat Positive, Kellogg's swooped in and purchased the brand.
Our key insight was the brand’s lasting emotional link with its core audience, which we played back in a personal tone and voice encouraging people to eat healthier and, like the company itself, engage in a lifestyle that embraced social and environmental responsibility.
To rekindle the original brand passion, we tapped the great social movements of the 60s, but with a lighthearted twist on some of the most iconic phrases and visuals of the decade.
We extended our brand idea into an iconic series of brand banners that were used in spectacular outdoor settings, transit stations, bus sides and wild postings. The integrated national campaign included traditional advertising, pack development, digital and social, and grassroots. The brand posters were so popular that they were often stolen.
In constructing the brand in the digital space, our strategy focused on building a community of New Vegetarians, or Flexitarians, whose shared interests are healthy eating and wellness, an active lifestyle, family and sustainability. The brand's new look, feel, tone and manner was extended with the same lighthearted touch that ultimately put the product's taste and healthy attributes out at the forefront. Among several successful online promotional tactics, we had fans upload pictures of themselves, tell us how their lifestyle was reflected in the foods they ate, and had them submit recipes with Gardenburger products using different preparations, with the winner featured in a national ad and on social networks. Our newsletter campaign was instrumental in reigniting the brand love of days gone by.
In year two, we extended the Eat Positive brand concept to a new campaign that carried forth the brand's optimistic and humorous tone, but this time, featuring the product as hero. For Enlightened Eating, we once again tapped our consumer insight research around shared values, but this time connecting with an aspirational world religion theme.
Asked to provide some help reaching Gardenburger's institutional food service customers, we provided a kit including a series of posters, ads, collateral, and point of sale items emphasizing the need for healthier food in schools, hospitals, and corporate cafeterias.
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