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In a series of new spots, Kraft Heinz’s Oscar Mayer attempts to highlight his personality and convey the magic of moments like his Wienermobile rolling through town.
Expressed through small content in the form of six and 15 second ads, a threesome videos shows original storylines with almost no context or narrative, deviating from a traditional storytelling strategy and instead focusing on playful and unexpected uses of meat.
In one place, a queen feeds the living ghost in a pyramid by biting into her sandwich. In another, a sleeping woman snuggles into a slice of bread and is covered with a pile of cold cuts. The third represents two pieces of bacon vying to be eaten by the person holding them.
The ads are part of a larger campaign that aims to explore the idea of what it means to be Oscar Mayer through a new, content-driven approach.
“It’s not a campaign for meat lovers, Arby’s kind of campaign, but I really like using meat as a brush to surprise people,” said Emily Garvey Elias, chief strategy officer at group at the Johannes Leonardo agency, which helped create the effort.
The artwork taps into the eccentric ideas of several creators and marks the final chapter of the main brand platform “Keep It Oscar” which debuted in late April. This is Oscar Mayer’s first creative transformation in decades, aiming to build on a 138-year-old heritage with a modern twist and a stronger sense of cohesion across the brand’s products. This push also marks the major effort led by Johannes Leonardo, who took over last year as Oscar Mayer’s benchmark creative agency.
“When we started working with Oscar Mayer, we talked to them a lot about how the brand kind of got lost and started to take itself seriously, kind of like apologizing for who the brand was.” , said Elias.
The brand has spent years using advertising to strengthen its positioning around quality, Elias added, noting how this approach has helped make Oscar Mayer an iconic brand among consumers. As the campaign developed, the agency looked at key creative elements such as the Wienermobile and the jingle, “My Bologna Got a Name,” and found that what has stood out among consumers over the years are the unexpected moments of Oscar Mayer that arouse joy.
“Oscar Mayer has a legacy and an emotional undercurrent that a lot of brands would kill for,” Elias said. “I think where we are now is a big change, but in a lot of ways it’s just about getting back to the roots of the brand.”
To capture the brand’s unexpected spirit, the revamped creative approach now focuses on conveying ambiance instead of telling a traditional story. The question underlying the development of the campaign was: if the Wienermobile lived in a world of its own, what else would there be in this world? The answer is that “wonderfully strange spirit” that makes new creation natural on non-traditional marketing platforms like TikTok, according to Elias.
Videos under the “Keep It Oscar” banner will appear on TikTok and other social media sites, as well as traditional TV shopping, online and out-of-home videos. While Oscar Mayer is a newcomer to TikTok – he first published on April 30 – it generated more than 76 million views and 670,000 likes on the platform. Two thousand users created messages using the Soundtrack of “Yum Choir”, while the brand has gained 45,000 subscribers in five weeks, according to statistics provided by Oscar Mayer.
The agency and brand are developing a hashtag challenge on TikTok to encourage user participation and extend the cutting edge approach of “Keep It Oscar”.
Create a new iconography
While the original spirit of the Wienermobile underlies the campaign’s creative strategy, it is conspicuously absent from the new “Keep It Oscar” spots. Its absence is part of a drive to create additional brand iconography while reminding consumers that Oscar Mayer offers more than just hot dogs.
“The ambition here is to start building new structures of memory around the brand,” Elias said. “The Wienermobile continues to be an important part of the brand, and we are definitely thinking about ways to use it in the future.
“Charcuterie isn’t exactly the sexiest product on paper, but it’s the gist of [Oscar Mayer’s] business.”