Casa Mendosa gets steamy for its first brand campaign

Who: Casa Mendosa, with Union for creative and Dentsu for media.

What: “Pasión por las tortillas,” the first ad campaign for the Weston Foods brand.

When & Where: The campaign broke this week in Western Canada, timed to coincide with Cinco de Mayo. It includes 30 and 15-sec TV ads, as well as online video and custom social media stickers developed with GIF maker Giphy.

Why: Sonia Bongiorno, senior manager of brand-build marketing at Weston Foods, says the goal is to drive awareness and consideration of the Casa Mendosa brand, particularly at a time when consumers are cooking (and experimenting with ) at home more than ever.

Western Canada will serve as a “test and learn” for this creative and media strategy, says Bongiorno. It was selected because the Casa Mendosa brand has been demonstrating “strong growth momentum” and has high penetration in that region.

How: The TV creative relies on misdirection, starting as what appears to be a standard food ad built around a simple recipe video for fajitas. The humour comes entirely from the voiceover, which urges home cooks to throw some lime juice into the pan “the way you throw a drink in the face of a sworn enemy,” and likens Casa Mendosa’s triple-baked baking process to a love triangle.

The online video, meanwhile, combines footage from an actual telenovela with humorous subtitles and dialogue (recorded remotely after the COVID pandemic hit) that makes burritos and fajitas a key part of a confrontation between a man and woman. The spot concludes with the super “The passion of Mexico in every tortilla.”

“We decided to lean into the authentic Mexican roots of Casa Mendosa, because the recipe is actually very true to the traditional Mexican way of making tortillas,” says Bongiorno. “Also, our key competitors don’t play in this arena at all, so there was a real white space. This playful, cheeky Mexican tone is one that Casa Mendosa can truly own.”

It’s the second time in recent months that a brand has used soap operas as a creative concept, following HelloFresh’s “Hungry Hearts.”

And we quote: “The campaign as a whole encourages people to try something new for dinner, and to have fun doing it. The work doesn’t take itself too seriously, and we feel like people can use a bit of a laugh right now.” —Rica Eckersley, creative director at Union.


Chris Powell