Hellmann’s serves up food for thought

The brand is taking its 'real food' movement to the next level with a viral video that uncovers some startling facts about the Canadian food system.

Do you think Canada is self sufficient? Well, despite all the farms in our country, the chances are very good that most of the food on Canadian dinner tables isn’t locally-grown (talk about lazy, huh?), and Hellmann’s is betting that many Canadians don’t have a clue. So in June it took its ‘real food’ movement to the next level, following up two years of its ‘Urban Gardens’ program with a viral video that uncovers some startling facts about the realities of the Canadian food system.

‘As we looked at the barriers to people eating real food in Canada, you can see in your grocery stores that there’s not that much fresh Canadian food relative to what you might expect,’ explains Nancy Vonk, co-CCO at Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather. ‘We saw an opportunity to play the role of educator in pointing out that maybe we should all collectively take action in the opposite direction, which can be nothing short of buying Canadian, locally grown foods.’

Thus Hellmann’s ‘Eat Real, Eat Local’ campaign was born. On top of the video, which was developed by Ogilvy & Mather and prodco Crush, it includes an online portal developed by Dashboard, also in Toronto. EatRealEatLocal.ca provides info such as where to find more locally grown produce, recipes, expert opinions and the ability to make a pledge to buy locally grown food.

The video, which drives to the website, tallied 50,000 hits after ten days on YouTube. Online chatter is 83% positive, and at press time it had managed to wrangle up 18 million consumer impressions. Hellmann’s isn’t stopping there.

‘We’re going to keep going and hope that Hellmann’s becomes more of an entity that people would recognize for trying to make a difference and trying to facilitate the right thing happening,’ says Vonk.