Thursday, May 27, 2010

What’s Up Kraft Sandwich Shop and Miracle Whip?

I’m focused on Kraft Mayonnaise and Kraft Miracle Whip sandwich spread and I know why. Kraft is out there heavily promoting both. I don’t even like mayonnaise but recently it’s been a part of my life. That’s how Brands are. Even if you’re not even interested in them, you don’t buy them or you don’t engage with them, they have a way of sneaking into your life. It is almost impossible not to have involvement with Brands no matter what. Here’s why:

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 ( 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 (, 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:

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!!).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Does your brand need a Facebook page?

The short answer is yes.

While some may argue that another platform will come down the line to replace Facebook, the reality of the question is more about a Brand's necessity to dive into the world of social media.

The value of social media can be broken down into the "Four A's":


There are more than 100 million active Facebook users.
There are more than 75 million active Twitter users.
There are more than 50 million blogs worldwide.

These are simply numbers that a brand manager cannot, in good conscious, pass up on. The ability to tap into the various demographics and use them to target a very specific group of shoppers and consumers allows for extremely effective and personalized marketing efforts that can not be achieved through traditional marketing efforts.


The cost to create, maintain, develop and effectively use social media as a marketing tool is far less than the budget busting dollars spent on traditional marketing plans.

Take a look at your design costs, consulting fees, add in those printing fees, don't forget media buying, shipping, more shipping and hours and hours of manpower. They add up to one large invoice after another for traditional marketing.

Take the dollars that you are spending on just two of these projects and you have a large enough budget to run a social media marketing program for an entire year. Social media is dependent on your consumers being your primary advocates. The community built around your brand does the bulk of the advertising work... not your dollars.


Social media is actionable from moment one. Regardless of whether you are diving into the deep end or tip-toeing into the shallows, social media creates an immediate impact on your brand.

This is an instant way to connect with consumers and shoppers on their home turf. Launching a brand? Get to to the viral market long before it hits the store shelves. Retailer specific promotion coming soon? Announce it, plug the retailer, ensure its success. Just want to know what your consumers think? Go ahead and ask.


Brand Awareness spreads through word of mouth. Social media allows for users to be your spokesperson. They can suggest your page to friends, share your posts, retweet your contests and comment on your latest event photos. Viral brand awareness grows faster than any form of traditional method (outside of Oprah). This is an opportunity for you to get your brand message across, spread and known!

Want to know more? Just ask:

Justin Noland
CPG Marketing Idealist
(510) 594-1300

Chip Tasting!

We love chips here at WAG, and one of the perks of working in this industry is TASTE TASTING. There are BBQ Chips, spicy chips, cheesy chips, and brands we had a chip taste-off; 1 part market research, 1 part good time! The categories for judging were determined, the boxes and boxes of the crunchy snacks arrives, and the contest began. Here are the results:

Best Regular: Lay’s Classic Potato Chip

Best BBQ:Mike-sell’s Zesty Barbecue

Best Salt & Vinegar: Tim’s Sea Salt and Vinegar

Best Dill Pickle: Lay’s Dill Pickle Flavored Chips

Best Spicy: 3 way tie- Tim’s Jalapeno, Tim’s Wasabi, and Kettle Chips Spicy Thai

Best Sour Cream & Onion: Kettle Chips Sour Cream, Onion & Chive

Best Cheese: Mike-sell’s Cheese Curls

Best Citrus: Lay’s Limon Tangy Lime Flavored Potato Chips

And of course, as a design agency, we had to judge the packaging:

Best Package: Mike-sell’s Good & Hot

Worst Package: Kettle Chips New York Cheddar with Herbs
Not a bad day's work!

For more photos, check out the WAG Flickr Page!

Monday, May 24, 2010

AIGA! Plan, Pitch, Prize.

I was impressed already and I hadn’t even walked in the door. I hadn’t realize that the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is located in the famous Hallidie Building, a building I studied in my American Architecture classes in college. This famous building, on the National Register of Historic Places, is credited as being the first American building to feature glass curtain walls. I was headed here on a Thursday evening in May for the AIGA event “D.Talks 2010: Plan, Pitch, Prize”.

The event was part of a series of AIGA sponsored discussions on the business of design called ‘D.Talks.” The D.Talk events were created to open up engagement within a discussion so communication would be an integral interaction between industry leaders and the audience. This particular event focused on finding, pitching and landing new projects.

Josh Levine, who asked questions and motivated dialogue between the audience and three industry professionals, moderated the event:

Peter Allen- a 20year veteran of business development, brand strategy, and client services for Landor, TurnerDuckworth, Siegel&Gale.

Cathy Barnet- Senior Manager Multi-Brand Marketing at Levi Strauss & Co.

Twelve years of interactive agency experience with brands such as Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company and Cadbury Schweppes. Now on client-side at Levi’s responsible for their wholesale ecommerce model while managing all online and print collateral for independent retailers.

Ted Leonhardt- Management Consultant who co-founded The Leonhardt Group (TLG), a brand design agency, now Fitch: Seattle. When they sold in 1999 the company had 50 employees and $10 million in annual fee sales.

QUESTION: How do you make contacts? How do you identify new business opportunities?


  • Many different approaches, no right way
  • Look for a fit: Brands you love & celebrate / Things you love yourself
  • Big companies are hard to get
  • Smaller = quicker turn around
  • Do your homework and approach the right person


  • Design is on a path to commodization
  • Categories are defined, brand interactive
  • Clients believe agencies are interchangeable
  • Need to identify their needs with your services


  • When she pitched as her own agency, she found a ‘hook’ to get her in the door: She worked with a logistics & measuring expert and they used measurement as their ‘in’ for agencies, asking ‘will, or did, your design pay out?”
  • Use Linked In & Tell potential clients: “I will take your scraps”

QUESTION: What can I do for you that your current agency isn’t?


  • Got to COLD call / Do your homework
  • Don’t take “no” for an answer- won new business after striking out 12-14 times
  • Send something of value
  • It’s LUCK + TIMING
  • Customer Relationship Marketing
  • Sales Force , HiRise (light-weight version), Batchbook

QUESTION: How should I approach you in cold calling?


  • Can’t stand cold calls-too much going on at my desk
  • Email- back up your phone call with an email
  • Don’t be a pain in the butt and announce your offer quickly
  • E-mail: First 5 lines: tell me what you’re about. Do your research and tell me how you can help me.

QUESTION: Business Development- where should I start?


  • Make yourself relevant to your clients world & understand their needs
  • We had huge client breakfasts where we discussed project issues with current clients and potential clients. The potential could see how we handle the problems.
  • Attend, participate, monitor SF Agency created seminars
  • Watch agency acquisitions- they are buying metrics, analytics
  • Add specialties to your creative services to make you valuable to your client
  • Business journal- send them articles


  • Write articles for other types of business
  • She wrote ‘Top 10 Things To Ask Your Agency” and distributed to trade magazines for publishing.
  • SF American Marketing Association
  • Get involved in events where you present yourself as the expert


  • Direct Marketing- Indirect marketing is all good, but nothing is better than a targeted list, cold calling, and following up
  • Start dialogue, give info

QUESTION: Lets talk about positioning. What can you do to position yourself?


  • Best position: Have a product or service that they need!
  • Not a cold call, but an informative conversation
  • Ask: How can I help you move your business forward??


  • Questions to ask to see if you are a good fit for the client
  • Is there an opportunity? Ask them because you don’t want to waste time.
  • Ask them what are you looking for in an agency?
  • The last agency you hired, how did that develop?
  • Do you hire a designer or contract?
  • You have a problem, and I can help you with that.
  • Prepare the Questions! You know if they’re junior or senior by the questions you ask.

QUESTION: Request for Proposal-How much time should you spend on securing possible business using an RFP?


  • To get new business, and independent developed a program saying, "I can cut your packaging budget by 'X' amount and you'll pay me 'Y' amount if I do." He believed in what he could do, and said so.
  • Without inside track, RFP's are hopeless.
  • Ask for money for RFP to set the tone: I am serious, I am worth something.
  • Position yourself as being more valuable by valuing yourself and your services.


  • RFP’s suck! Some are well written, but most have many unanswered questions.
  • Always digest it
  • Create list of questions, anything big or small, then walk through with the person monitoring
  • RFP –OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE!! Ask the right questions!
  • How much do you have to spend? If they say “price it as you normally would” say NO and ask for budget. They will always have one.
  • Ask who the competition is.
  • When they call ask- why did you call us?
  • Client’s responsibility to give you clean direction
  • Immediately upon receipt of RFP, call and ask questions, present your best qualities, ask the right question
  • Stay away from government RFP
  • Be relevant to the business and know more than the client

A few professional recommendations:

Blair Ems- Win Without Pitching ( Recommended as the best system approach to selling within our business.

Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work by Stephan Schiffman

Following this fabulous evening, I took action!! I’ve written this blog article, purchased Stephan Schiffman’s book and perused Blair Ems website downloading some articles. What I need to do now is complete my list of companies I want to target, research the right contacts at these companies, evaluate their needs, then cold call them with a unique value proposition!! Yep, you read right, Cold Call!!!

(Looks like I need to get busy!!! Come back in a few days/weeks/months/years and check in on the progress!!) Byenow!

Francine Pinoni

WAG Partner

Friday, May 21, 2010

Social Media Event: Steve Knox CEO of Tremor speaking to the Network of Executive Women

Network of Executive Women-Northern California, what an awesome group! I am so happy to have found a group of women who actively pursue their craft in the CPG and Retail Industries. How exhilarating it is to know so many of us love what we do and are committed to furthering ourselves by participating in NEW events so we can be better employers, employees and people!

I recently attended the Nor Cal NEW Event ‘Building your Individual Social Media Strategy’ on Friday, May 14th. The event was in the very beautiful Bankhead Theatre in downtown Livermore (and boy has Livermore changed, I suggest a visit!). There was plenty of parking and lots of space to roam and mingle.

The NEW Event opened with signing in, getting your name badge and then moving right into the theatre lobby for meet and greet- coffee, mini-quiche, some decadent pastries, (bagels with lox-yum!) and fresh fruit kabobs-thank God! Attendees walked around, attempted to mingle while eating and posed for group shots for the event photographer. On each table, there were some ‘conversation starter’ questions on Social Marketing, which were used to help open up dialogue with other NEW! Members.

Promptly at 9:00am, the group was slowly filtered into the theater for the Opening Remarks and Keynote Speaker, Steve Knox, Chief Executive Officer of Tremor, Procter & Gamble’s word of mouth marketing think-tank. He opened up his presentation by guaranteeing the audience that they would not be bored and would learn something! Could Steve deliver? I’m sure everyone in the room wondered if Steve was going to offer up his promise!

Steve started talking about the ‘Pie Model’. Steve didn’t know where this model came from and encouraged us to find out (we’re working on it- more on this later!!). One thing I learned from Steve for sure… If you want to be noticed, you need PIE!!!

PIE -‘Performance, Image and Exposure’!!

How is PIE measured? The PIE Chart!

10% Performance, 40% Image and 50% EXPOSURE!

If any of the PIE is Zero, you’re Zero!

PERFORMANCE- it’s a given. Performance is what people expect from you but it must grow. Performance that is static amounts to nothing. If you do nothing but perform, your growth will be stalled.

IMAGE- the message you send before you speak. Whether its intentional or not, you send an image to the world through your attire, your confidence and your demeanor. How are you representing yourself to your market? Are you using Social Media? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs?

EXPOSURE- the KING daddy! This is most important in the PIE example, as exposure is the only place you can seek and find rewards. To have exposure, you must get your name in the marketplace and build a large network of contacts. These contacts must speak about your attributes to others-your contacts must advocate you and your services.

How do you do this? “Keep your eye on the PIE!” by 1) Advocating, 2) Disrupting ‘Schema’s and 3) Defining your ‘Foundational Truth’.

1. Advocacy. Who are you? What are you advocating everyday? How are you presenting yourself? If people trust you and trust what you do for them, they will naturally advocate you. Trust is number one but image is important too. If a guy shows up in a running suit for a big meeting, would you take him seriously?

2. Disrupt Schemas. The brain is designed to remain in a static state and operate on hundreds of thousands of preconceived notions, or schemas. We all use schemas everyday to quickly process information so we don’t have to think. If something or someone disrupts our schemas, we see this as an exception to what we know, thereby labeling the schema as unique. An example: If we see a person at the door of our local Starbucks who is sitting on the ground wearing dirty, tattered clothing, our schemas will tell us that this person is homeless. If we see a person dressed in dirty, tattered clothes sitting down in Starbucks with three men in suits, it would disrupt your schema snd force you to change it. People develop schemas everyday but they are hard to disrupt, as they have to have believability.

If your business (or personal) schema fits how people view you, you will not disrupt their schemas. Example: Las Vegas Tourist Bureau. They tried to position Las Vegas as a ‘family friendly’ tourist destination. The general schema for Vegas travelers is that Vegas is an adult playground that is no place for children. The schema of ‘adult playground’ was grounded in past and present experiences. When the Las Vegas Tourist Bureau asked tourists to disrupt their schema- and believe that Vegas is family friendly- the campaign became unbelievable, and ultimately failed. Later, when they launched their ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ campaign, Vegas travelers confirmed their ‘adult playground’ schemas, as they know this information to be true, and not contradictory, thus the campaign was a success.

Performance that just meets expectation (schemas) is not the core of advocacy. You must disrupt schemas to be advocated and you must be advocated to gain exposure!!

3. Define your Foundational Truth-the core of who you are! What do you believe in? What will you never stray from? If you want others to advocate you, they must be clear on your foundational truth. What schemas are at play relative to your foundational truth?

To gain exposure:

Utilize Social Media- Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs. Each of these online tools offer lots of exposure and information. Use Google Alerts, Google Profile, Google Dashboard, and Micro-blogs to keep track of what’s being said about you online. If you have negative comments, try to get them removed or supplement these with positive comments from yourself or others.

Steve got me thinking! Yep, we need to utilize Social Media Marketing more if we want to be exposed (so thanks for reading this article!!) and we need to secure clients to make it happen, but before any of that, we need to define, understand and live our ‘foundational truth’.

Want to know what that is? Come back next week! I’ll post it! But if you have any questions before then, you can always email me (, Facebook me, join my LinkedIn network, tweet me or comment on this blog! Until then…byenow!

Francine Pinoni

WAG Partner

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Future, Not as Scary as You Thought

Where is marketing going in the next ten years?

I am going to pass on the usual introductory blog that spends ten minutes talking about who I am and why I think you should pay extra attention to what I am saying. I am just going to jump right into the topic at hand and see where it goes.
Marketing is about reaching people. It is about getting a product or service out there in front of people who might become a consumer. It is about creating a demand and, eventually, encouraging someone to spend money. So the question really is, how will reaching people change in the next ten years? How will marketing and advertising agency's need to change in order to reach the maximum number of people?
The obvious answer is Social Media. Social Media is a change in the way people get their information. It is more than Facebook, more than Twitter, it is the various forms of user generated content and the collection of websites and applications that enables people to interact and share information online. It is a content through interaction. Think blogs, think review sites, think comment sections on a news page. This is a major shift in the way marketing works. In previous years, marketing was a one way street. You put up your billboard and boast about your product. The masses see your glaring message and react in one way or another while you hope it drives more sales. Here's the new difference; social media gives the consumer the ability to climb up to your billboard and, with a big can of spray paint, comment on your brand message. Social media allows the consumer to ask questions, give praise, and, yes, ridicule.
Marketers and advertisers have gotten very good at preaching the virtues of their products and creating new ways of saying the same old message, but how will traditional media marketers react to the consumer demands in social media. How will they answer the call when Peggy Sue of Middle America questions their product online and the voices of social media echo her sentiments?

Looking for answers? Check back soon as I get into detail on this subject and many more including:

Will every brand have a Facebook page? Who will be the voice?

How much of your marketing budget should you spend on social media?

What is guerilla marketing? Is it useful?

Justin Noland
CPG Marketing Idealist