McCain Superfries – Modifry

Off to a Good Start (BRONZE)

Client Credits: McCain Foods Canada
McCain Foods Canada

Agency Credits: Grip Limited
Grip Limited


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):October 2014 – June 2015
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: October 6, 2014
Base Period as a Benchmark: October 2013 – June 2014

a) Overall Assessment

Fries. Mmmmmmmmm.

For many years, fries have been a welcome addition to Canadians' dinner plates. Fries with ketchup. Fries with burgers. Fries with chicken fingers. Fries with fish. Not to mention poutine in all its delicious iterations.

And when it comes to eating fries at home, more often than not Canadians choose McCain [bought by 73% of the 70% of Canadians who buy frozen potato products]. As one of Canada’s most loved and trusted brands [#13 on Top 100 Canadian Brands], McCain has a longstanding history with freezers across the country [1957 saw the launch of their first French Fry plant in Florenceville, NB]. 

But times are changing. Canadians are consciously limiting their frozen food consumption in favour of more fresh foods. There are overall frozen category declines, increasingly negative perceptions of frozen food processing, and the frozen food aisle is just not a go-to destination.

Enter “It’s All Good”, a company wide initiative that saw McCain revamp all of their recipes to deliver simpler ingredients and a communications program to drive awareness of this new and improved position. While it helped to reframe the products on a functional level and delivered positive business results for the brand, the ‘real’ ingredients space quickly became very busy and McCain was keen to improve not just their product proposition, but also build a more distinctive, emotional and occasion relevant connection with consumers over the long term.

Fast forward to the launch of a new global platform for McCain: “Share Something Good.” With its launch, McCain hoped to create more of an emotional affinity for their products by celebrating the joy that their foods can bring to any and all eating occasions. As part of this effort, the McCain Canada team looked to Grip Limited to help them develop a campaign that would help them inspire more people to share in the joy of Superfries, at more varied eating occasions. As their digital partner, Grip’s mandate was to leverage digital and social channels to bring this to life and connect with Canadians in a meaningful and relevant way.

b) Resulting Business Objectives

1. Broaden the appeal of McCain Superfries to include adult only households

2. Drive increased consumer engagement with the brand

3. Deliver increased McCain Superfries sales results

c) Annual Media Budget

d) Geographic Area

a) Analysis and Insight

Nearly everyone loves fries. More and more of us also appreciate and enjoy today’s foodie culture, indulging in more creative, interesting and delicious foods; some new, but very often a new take on an old classic. We’ve seen the reinvention and elevation of bacon, cupcakes and burgers, the new and improved food truck experience, and the increased presence of “comfort” foods on restaurant menus and special events and occasions. Yet fries were primarily enjoyed the same old way for the same old occasions. With the exception of poutine, little had been done to elevate fries beyond the everyday and expected, and tap in today’s food culture and desire to showcase food creativity and expertise.

It was clear that there was an opportunity to bring more fries inspiration and joy to the table, and for McCain to serve up Superfries as the canvas.

So began a call to #Modifry. A call to consumers to elevate their everyday by preparing and serving Superfries with more interesting and gourmet ingredients.

b) Communication Strategy

We started by creating simple, foodie inspired recipe content that appealed to our target’s senses and sensibilities. We needed to inspire Canadians to think beyond burgers and fries, chicken fingers and fries, and fish and chips. We needed to elevate the Superfries experience, and tempt new consumption occasions. We needed to bring some new excitement and appeal for the brand and its intentions.

But we all know it’s not enough to just create content. We needed to ensure that people engaged with it and acted on it. To optimize our efforts, we created our own recipe for successful content engagement: 

1/ Key Influencer Partnerships - leverage key individuals and properties to generate more recipes, reach and engagement

2/ Chef Endorsements - involve the ultimate cooking authority: chefs

3/ User-Generated Content - ask our fans to share their recipes and celebrate the most creative and unique suggestions

4/ Scaleable Content - scale content elements and approach to suit platform and media opportunities

5/ Multi-Platform Presence - engage our consumer over the course of their journey and/or week

6/ Paid Media Support - use pre-roll and promoted posts to broaden our presence

Ultimately, this would help fuel a winning combination of owned, earned, and paid media for McCain Superfries and create a healthy appetite for #Modifry.

a) Media Used





McCain Website

The Social and Mode Media bloggers

Online video



More recently:


Kin Community food vloggers

b) Creative Discussion

There were three different creative elements: Recipes, Partnership Content, and User-Generated Content. 


Our base recipe content focused on simple “bake, toss and serve” recipes that demonstrated how easy it is to #modifry and elevate a typical fry occasion, or any occasion for that matter. Each recipe featured three to five fresh ingredients to toss with McCain Superfries and was shot with a consistent and appetizing lens.

Here is a sample of the #Modifry recipes we created and how #modifry was initially introduced to our communities: 



#Modifry was shared in social through photo and video content: 



Partnership Content

We partnered with The Social and Mode Media to generate additional recipes and engagement from their communities:

Each of the hosts on The Social had a recipe created for them, and were given a demo and taste of their recipe on air.

The Social segment and the hosts’ recipes are available here:

The partnership with The Social was celebrated on the McCain Communities, including a local contest to award the best #modifry submission with tickets to The Social on November 13th


Recipes were also created by Mode Media bloggers and Elaine Lui, a host of The Social and primary voice of Lainey Gossip. Not surprisingly, her recipe generated a nice spike in #modifry mentions on Twitter.  


Both of these initiatives were supported by the McCain/Grip team with additional live Twitter content to generate further engagement.



Separately, we partnered with Canadian chefs to shoot step by step #modifry videos and encouraged our community to follow their lead and create their own Superfries modifries at home.


--[insert Mode Media recipes, tweets, etc. here]


Both of these initiatives were supported by the McCain/Grip team with additional live Twitter content to generate further engagement.





More recently, McCain engaged the Kin Community to invite food vloggers including Lauren Toyato, Mike Ward, and Sara Lynn Cauchon to create their own #modifry recipes and share with their extensive online communities.




User-Generated Content

In our social channels we asked our fans to share their #modifry recipes with us, and then selected and photographed the most creative and unique suggestions to be featured as Fan Favourite Modifries.  

Here are a few yummy Fan Favourite examples:  






c) Media Discussion

#Modifry launched in October 2014 and was primarily activated in social and digital media as per the original mandate. Not to mention, social and digital media play a big role in our consumers’ food inspiration and decision-making journeys. As a result of the campaign's success in social and digital, TV support was added to the mix in March 2015 to broaden the campaign’s exposure, with existing online content being adapted for television broadcast. The Kin Community partnership was introduced late in the plan based on the initial success of The Social and Mode Media partnerships to generate more recipes, reach and engagement.  

a) Sales/Share Results

To date, #Modifry has been very successful in delivering meal time inspiration and getting consumers to rethink Superfries in a way that elevates both the product and meal experience. 

1. Broaden the appeal of Superfries to include adult only households

#Modifry drove a 13% lift in advertising breakthrough online and a 26% lift in brand association amongst this broader target.

2. Drive increased consumer engagement with the brand

The campaign drove over 500,000 social engagements on Facebook and Twitter. Nearly 90 million impressions were delivered against #Modifry content including Online Video, Social content, Search, and Partner content.

3. Deliver increased Superfries sales results

#Modifry results were double its’ growth targets. The campaign drove 7% growth (versus year ago) for McCain Superfries.

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

c) Other Pertinent Results

d) Return on Investment

a) General Discussion

In addition to the online and social activity, there was a Superfries brand spot in market. The spot showed a montage of occasions where fries were being enjoyed, and aimed to deliver the message that adding Superfries to a meal invites fun to the table. After running a test of the Modifry videos on broadcast it was decided that the Modifry videos originally created for online would replace the original TV spot. 

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels:

McCain’s spending levels are confidential due to the competitive nature within the industry. 


McCain does not employ pricing strategies to the degree their competition does. There were some retailer-specific offers in market in October and November of 2014. 

Distribution Changes:

With the rebranding of McCain products there were some distribution changes leading up to the campaign period. Distribution was slightly lower than the previous year for the first month of the campaign window. 

Unusual Promotional Activity:

No unusual activity during this window. 

Other Potential Causes:

Shopper Marketing activity during the campaign window included 20 tribute ads, bunker placement in some retailers, a partnership with Saputo and St. Hubert in Quebec, inclusion in the Walmart Live Better magazine, and an FSI with French’s Ketchup.