Kraft just launched their new flavored mayonnaise “Sandwich Shop Mayo”. Woo! What took them so long? Consumers have been eating (and loving!!) flavored mayonnaise since…hmmmm, how long exactly? I wondered so I used ‘The’ Google (http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/SauceHistory.htm) and The Google says that the mayonnaise history can not be traced exactly, but mayonnaise can be traced back to the 1756 French capture of Mahon, a city on the Spanish Isle of Minorca. Okay, enough of that, lets get back to Kraft.
So, Kraft introduces a line of flavored mayonnaises-the SANDWICH SHOP MAYONNAISE: a sku of reduced fat Chipotle, Garlic & Herb, Horseradish-Dijon and regular Hot & Spicy. They use HGTV design star judges to help introduce the product in a reality TV type format. Using these designers for this product was a little disconnecting for me. Does Kraft want me to believe that because Vern Yip knows feng shui for living rooms, he can ‘design’ a sandwich too? Vern may pull together a color palette for a kitchen but is a color palette really necessary for a sandwich? I’ve been in the design world my entire life and no way do I think I could build a better sandwich then legendary Alice Waters, or even my German engineer husband, just because I studied and practiced design for over 30 years!
I do think the time for flavored Mayonnaise has come though! We’ve had Dijonaise (whatever happened to that product?), Baconaise (we all KNOW what happened to that product!), and even the giant fast food legend Burger King has served aioli on their burgers! The time has come and Kraft is letting me know.
But while the brand managers for the new and exciting Sandwich Shop Mayo are jumping up and down with their new consumer-desired product, celebrity spokesperson, big TV, radio and print campaigns, just down the hall are their Miracle Whip (MW as abbreviated by the brand team) counterparts and unfortunately for them, they are the David of the ‘Sandwich Shop’ Goliath.
How does one market ‘Miracle Whip’ against these new and highly touted consumer flavor profiles? Of course the growing Hispanic market desires a Chipolte Mayonnaise! And the Gourmet suburban ‘indulger’ shopper has desired Horseradish-Dijon Mayonnaise for years! This new Kraft product is the answer to their dreams, right? So what happens to Miracle Whip and who exactly buys that product?
I used The Google again to find PR on MW but the most current news I could find was from May of 2009. In this article (http://www.prweekus.com/putting-the-zing-back-in-miracle-whip/article/154459/), the SVP of marketing says they ‘reinvented Miracle Whip’. They are targeting the 18-34 year old consumer. Their research shows that this younger segment has fond memories of Miracle Whip, that this consumer group enjoyed MW when they were younger and with the economic situation they’re facing, it’s the perfect way to get MW into this consumer’s kitchen. GREAT! Interesting strategy for an historic brand that is competing for share of stomach against their own colleagues offering a brand with strategic flavor profiles (and every consumer knows what mayonnaise is but what exactly is Miracle Whip anyway?).
‘Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise’ has always been a debate and definitely a consumer preference. This debate was further sparked by a Comedy Central remark made by legendary comedian Steve Colbert, who chose Mayonnaise over Miracle Whip when given the choice during an episode of his ‘Colbert Report’. The MW brand team catapulted the remark into their social media and traditional marketing campaigns to reach their 18-35 year old audience. Using Twitter, Facebook and a ZINGR branded browser plug-in, the brand believes MW ‘zings’ and now they can ‘zing’ the product to the digital world where their target is active.
Well, lots have happened in a year of zinging! They utilized Facebook to ask consumers to ‘take a stand’ against mayonnaise and have compiled 20,357 friends! While this doesn’t seem like a big number, when compared to the Kraft Mayonnaise Facebook page with 162 friends, the MW campaign is a huge success!! They utilized Facebook to encourage debates and discussions on consumer’s love of MW vs. Mayonnaise and to further capitalize on the Steve Colbert debate, they purchased every commercial timeslot during the Colbert Report on Thursday, November 12 to dominate the airspace with Miracle Whip consumers ‘snarfing sandwiches’ topped with, what else?, Miracle Whip.
It’s all good at the Chicago office of Kraft Miracle Whip. The brand has defined the consumer, got the touch points down, got a brilliant campaign to go against their Flavored Mayonnaise ‘Sandwich Shop’ colleagues, so now, I’m just wondering, what demographic data did they look at when they decided to use Red Plum’s Newspouch to deliver me a sample of their MW product within my Sunday San Francisco Chronicle?
In the last ten years, readership of newspapers in the core demographic group that MW has decided to go after has fallen 35-40% based on Scarborough Research survey data.
I’m definitely not their target as I’m not 18, 26 or 35, I’m not economically challenged and I don’t even purchase mayonnaise let alone a ‘sandwich spread’. Lets not forget my consumer segment is double income, empty nesters, indulgent and organic. We are so off the Miracle Whip target. Not only that, I find something very wrong with offering sandwich spread within a plastic newspaper bag. Is Miracle Whip sensitive to heat? How about when it’s in wrapped in plastic twice and it sits in the sun for four or more hours? Does it need to be refrigerated? Maybe the MW brand team did consider this. For their target, maybe food quality doesn’t matter as long as it’s free??
And, maybe those hipster Miracle Whip marketers may need to rethink their ‘kick up’ the flavor copy. I really need to know how mayonnaise (or any sandwich spread) kicks up anything? And, I’m not alone in wondering about the ‘non-taste’ of sandwich spreads and mayonnaise either! Evidently there are many us ‘I hate mayonnaise’ people out there as there’s even a website: www.world-of-mayo.com.
So Kraft, save your money on sending samples out to people that you have already decided are not going to buy your product. Instead, continue to execute the promise that your viral campaign has to offer. Extend it further by going guerilla on people and hitting the streets to target your demographic! Set up sandwich shops at tailgating spots and deliver the samples directly to the people. Take photos, post them to Facebook, announce where the next pop-up sandwich shop is going to be and when!
Cross Promote with sandwich king Subway or sponsor contests that build creativity and brand awareness! Bring it all back by actually using social media to advertise these events, contests and build your brand in the process!
You want web 2.0? You want hipster? You want new age marketing tactics? FORGET NEWSPAPERS! Stick to your guns and dive in, the young and spending shopper awaits, but he’s not reading the morning paper.
Just my thoughts on a Sunday morning! I’m off now to eat my German husband’s breakfast sandwich. (made without the free MW packets we got this morning in our Sunday paper!!).