HelloFresh enlists Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy

Who: Taxi Toronto and HelloFresh, with Nimble Content for production and Jesse Senko directing.

What: “Hungry Hearts,” a new web series starring Annie Murphy, co-star of the CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek. The campaign’s timing is perfect, since the show—which recently kicked off its sixth and final season—is kind of a big deal right now.

When & Where: The campaign debuted yesterday, with the first four-minute episode on HelloFresh’s YouTube channel. There are also some cut-down versions rolling out across Instagram and Facebook.

Why: It’s an awareness play for the meal-kit delivery brand, with a particular focus on working moms.

How: The work is aimed at showing how HelloFresh’s meal kits can eliminate the drama of dinnertime, built around arguably the most (overly) dramatic form of entertainment there is—the soap opera.

Hello Fresh’s original creative brief called for a cooking show using an influencer, but the Taxi creative team wanted to find a new way of bringing the idea to life. “Sometimes you come up with an idea and you can see the script,” says Taxi’s associate creative director Lorne Heller, who developed the campaign with his art director partner Justin Luu.

“We wanted to take a little bit of a risk strategically, get slightly off brief and come up with something that feels super-original and we’d love to make,” says Heller. “We stopped looking at it as how do we answer this brief word for word, and more how do we create something that people are going to want to watch.”

Rejected: “Hungry Hearts” beat out the creative team’s other idea of a show featuring the “siblings” of famous TV chefs like Gordon Ramsey.

Why Murphy?: Murphy, who plays the socialite Alexis Rose on Schitt’s Creek, was the creative team’s “pipe dream talent” for the campaign, says Heller. “She’s so charming and obviously [the show] is having its moment right now and she’s right in the wheelhouse of their target market.

“When she said she was interested, we were through the roof. She completely made the project and was awesome to work with.”

Much of the first ad’s watchability is down to Murphy, who (deliberately) overacts with considerable zeal. They shot the first four-minute videos (the second will appear next month) in one day. “I don’t think we did more than two takes of any one scene,” says Heller. “She was killing it.”

The first ad humorously plays up some immediately recognizable soap opera tropes, such as melodramatic piano music and grand, sweeping gestures. Oh, and candles. So many candles.

And we quote: “Such a unique idea demanded a special type of talent. We needed someone who represented our brand’s values, who resonated with our target, and most of all had the skill set to bring the script to life.” — Lauren Wong, vice-president of sales and marketing, HelloFresh.



Chris Powell