The 2007 Cassies Logo  

Knorr Sidekicks'
Salty finds love

GOLD :: Off to a Good Start
GOLD :: Best Integrated
View TV

OVERVIEW: This campaign took a not-exactly-earth-shattering product change (salt reduction) and made the news charmingly effective.

SITUATION ANALYSIS: Knorr Sidekicks had long enjoyed the #1 place in the cupboards of busy families. Then Uncle Ben's introduced Bistro Express. It was ready in two minutes (as against Knorr's 20) and Sidekicks'share went into a three-year decline. With no major innovation to hand, Knorr set out on a long-term plan to reduce the salt in its 22 top selling SKUs by 25%. Initially, it was decided not to announce this. But by the Summer of 2009, it was time to reveal the lower sodium news. The question was how.

STRATEGY & INSIGHT: There were challenges in telling a reduced-salt story. First, it might impair Sidekicks' vitally important taste credentials. Second, sodium levels had been overworked in the media, and consumers had become desensitized. Then came the insight. It wasn't that consumers didn't care. It was that the message had been too functional and scientific. An emotional appeal looked promising, but the expected route - a loving caring Mom with happy healthy children - was a cliché. In addition, past research suggested that this approach would not enough to turn around a declining brand. So who could tell the story?

EXECUTION: Enter Salty, a lovable little saltshaker, dejected by his reduced role. By telling the story through his eyes there was an immediate emotional link with the audience - which could be carried through TV, print, direct mail, digital, social media and in-store. The message was simple and powerful - Sidekicks had found a way to reduce sodium without sacrificing taste. In one TV execution, Salty discovers the 25% less sodium news. Realizing he's no longer wanted, he trudges out into a dark and stormy night, to the plaintive strains of Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You." The V/O explains that Sidekicks has reduced the sodium by 25% with the same great taste. "It's something everyone will appreciate´┐Żwell, almost everyone." With this, Salty lowers his head and weeps salty tears.

RESULTS: Just before the campaign launched, unit share reached a low of 16%. By March 2010 (seven months later) it had risen steadily to 19.9%, an increase of close to four points. Sidekicks also took over #1 from Uncle Ben's.

CAUSE & EFFECT: Results from creative pre-testing and ongoing tracking were well above norms, and the sales response correlated to when the advertising ran. Website traffic was also the highest in the brand's history, with extensive action on Facebook and YouTube. Given the competitive nature of the category there was a certain amount of pricing and promotional activity associated with the campaign, but the larger effect was clearly from the advertising.

Unilever Canada
Thom Braun - VP Brand Development
Natasha Gladman - Brand Development Director
Jan Mollenhauer - Brand Building Director
Nancy Chan - Brand Development Manager
Martha Blake; Shirley Chanyi - Brand Building Managers
Laura Kolupanowicz - Assistant Brand Building Manager
Shannon Fostka - Assistant Brand Development Manager

DDB Canada
Melanie Johnston - Managing Director
Wendy Caricari - VP Business Unit Director
Jacqui Faclier - Group Account Director
Rachel Selwood - Account Supervisor
Tamara Gervais - Senior Account Executive
Andrew Simon - Executive Creative Director
David Ross - Copywriter (ACD)
Paul Wallace, David Horovitch
- Art Directors (ACD)
Ian Murray, Ryan Hamacher - Copywriters
Carmen Toth - Senior Copywriter
David Correia, Ryan Semeniuk,
Jorgen Stovne - Art Directors
Andrew Schulze - Director
of Broadcast Production
Marie-Pierre Toure - Producer
Dre Lebre, Shelley Sutherland
- Creative Directors
Dana Rudelier - Manager,
Community Engagement
Matthew Nelson - Supervisor,
Community Cultivator
Cameron Reed - Manager,
Community Cultivator
Emily Ward - Senior Consultant (PR)