Hellmann's Real Food Movement

This is a 3 minute mini-documentary we created to examine and debate the Canadian food system. It formed the cornerstone of the 2009 - 2011 Hellmann's campaign, Eat Real, Eat Local.

Hellmann's in Canada is made with canola oil from the Prairies and Canadian eggs, so locally sourced ingredients are a part of the DNA of the product. After the Urban Gardens project in 2007, Hellmann's wanted to take the Real Food Movement national. Championing local foods (Canadian, not 100 mile) became a focus point to try and help Canadian's eat more real foods.

The campaign was launched in May 2009 and has already exceeded the 18 million media impressions target in August, with over 100,000 pledges by Canadians to Eat Real on www.EatRealEatLocal.ca. The documentary has been watched over 100,000 times and has sparked both massive debate in traditional media and social media. Hellmann's gained over 680% in Share of Digital Voice in May and has enjoyed 85% positive chatter.

The biggest fans of the film have been Canadian farmers apparently. 

The campaign elements include: TV, Film, Website, Instore, PR & Social Media.
Check out the press/blog/social clippings at Delicious: Click Here.

Digital Marketing Awards
 Silver for Online Video
 Craft Award for Design
2011 Cassies
 Gold for Best Integrated
 Gold for Sustained Growth
 Grand Prix

PS. Over the three years of the case Hellman's REAL mayonnaise volume grew by 14%, and market share increased from 25% to 29.3% - overtaking market leader Kraft Miracle Whip. These are the best results the brand has ever achieved.

Hellmann's Urban Gardens

I include this full case study because it's an interesting piece of strategic repositioning in a bit of a dull category. It's a creative solution that seriously changed the business.

The Real Food Movement 2007 Case Study

Hellmann’s has long called itself the “real” mayonnaise. It’s the one unadulterated recipe of eggs, oil and vinegar that stands out like a beacon on a shelf of white jars with many more ingredients. But research showed consumers are cynical about mayonnaise (or anything) being real anymore, and it was a revelation when they learned what’s in our jar is not only authentic but also has healthful properties that come with those ingredients. Our strategy was to make the Hellmann’s brand stand for real.


We believed we could most vividly stand for real by creating strong association with all real, unadulterated foods. To do this, we proposed that Hellmann’s cheer on and facilitate Canadians eating real foods.

We learned that there has been an explosion of interest in backyard and community gardens in Canada that goes with a trend toward real food, away from processed. Hellmann’s real ingredients made it a natural advocate for home grown foods. So, our first initiative was to create urban gardens across Canada, in of all places, parking lots. You could say our primary medium was dirt. Urbanites received seed packs with invitations on the back to enter a contest to win a free plot by submitting an essay online. There were also invitations in newspapers and banner ads. We let people know about the new Hellmann’s Urban Garden Fund---designed to assist existing community gardens. At every touch point we reinforced the real story of Hellmann’s—the natural recipe and added surprises of Omega 3’s, no trans fats and it’s low in saturated fat. All communications pointed to hellmanns.ca, and all signed off with “Hellmann’s. Eat for Real”.

Photos from the Toronto urban garden.

The result was overwhelming. Hundreds of Canadians submitted heart felt essays and we knew we had really struck a chord hearing of so much yearning for a garden experience. Hellmanns.ca went from 61 visitors in March to 78,619 in June, after the campaign launched. Visitors spent an average of almost 11 minutes on the site. Media coverage has been extensive and glowing. Many newspapers, websites and television programs have told stories of individuals who are tending the plots, their lives enhanced by that peaceful and healthy experience. There are 5,391,594 media impressions to date. YTD shipments are up 25%, the highest growth in the world. From June 10th to July 7th, Hellmann's base brand sales were +7%, while market was –2%.


Ogilvy Toronto created the idea and then we worked with several Unilever suppliers in partnership to produce the programme.

The campaign consisted of:
Door Drops that had carrot seed packs attached
A Consumer Promotion
Instore activation
Hellmann's Jar Tags
A large web media buy
Redesigned website
Media Partnerships