Barilla brings pasta lovers to Italy with expanded partnership plans

In an effort to stand out, the pasta brand layers partnerships with Flight Centre and Ruffino into its marketing mix.

Barilla Canada has expanded the scope of its partnership marketing mix to be more integrated and larger in scale to ensure it is top of mind with consumers.

While the pasta maker has been known for experimenting more with digital activations to target specific markets, or bringing Italy to the consumer’s table through experiential activations, Barilla tried something new, aiming to bring consumers to Italy itself.

As Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions ease, Barilla identified statistics showing that 70% of Canadians are gearing up for post-pandemic travel. And after a tough 2020, Barilla – which reports that it has always tried to layer in a component of partnership marketing into its overall mix – decided to officially expanded the scope of partnerships for 2021, seeing an opportunity to work with some great partners and connect with its consumers while promoting growth of its digital channels, having seen success from smaller but similar initiatives in the past.

Out of the gate, it teamed up with Flight Centre and Italian wine brand Ruffino to send a winner on an all-expense-paid trip for two to Italy.

The two-pronged social #BarillaPastaport ad campaign – managed by Barilla’s media AOR, OMD – is running from Barilla’s channels, as well as multiple influencer partners promoting the contest. The brand also works with Zeno Group Canada, who handles the public relations elements and earned media. Ruffino and Flight Centre were responsible for their own promotion but are also doing a mix of paid and earned.

Already underway, the contest runs until June 30, and the trip itself is redeemable until 2023 to Italy, redeemable until 2023.

Entrants can get a bonus entry by cooking one of the pasta recipes on the contest site and sharing on Instagram by tagging and following partner Instagram channels and using the campaign hashtag.