Armstrong turns social posts into jingles

Who: Saputo (Armstrong Cheese) with dentsumcgarrybowen for creative and OMD Canada for media.

What: “Canadians crave Armstrong,” a campaign for the Saputo brand that turns people’s positive social posts about the cheese into jingles. It’s an attempt to modernize the brand and broaden its appeal among younger consumers, said marketing manager Tina Galluccio.

When & Where: The campaign launched late last month and is running for 11 weeks across TV/online video, social media and out-of-home. A second phase will launch in mid-January, running until April. Armstrong plans to use the platform for the next couple of years and plans to extend it to Saputo’s  delivery trucks and various digital audio platforms.

Why: Armstrong is a “key brand” within Saputo’s portfolio, said Galluccio, and the goal with this campaign is to make the more than 100-year-old brand an even stronger national player. “We want to make more noise, and we want to grow our equity,” she said.

Per capita cheese consumption in Canada has held steady at nearly 13 kilograms per year for the past five years, but Canadians tend to shop the entire category rather than individual brands. There’s a perception that cheeses don’t differ from one another, and shoppers are often content to buy what’s on sale. Armstrong is attempting to stand out by highlighting consumers’ positive feelings about the brand. “We needed to tell a stronger story to give consumers an incentive to pick up our brand.”

How: Advertising in the cheese category has historically employed a more serious, straightforward approach around values like heritage and quality (an approach that Armstrong itself has employed in the past), but rather than simply tell consumers about its qualities, Armstrong decided to use its customers’ praise for its products.

Dentsumcgarrybowen reached out to people who had posted positive comments about Armstrong on social media and asked for their permission to use their so-called “taste-imonials” in the campaign.

The TV/online ads show an Armstrong spokesperson sitting in an office filled with cheese references, from (presumably fictional) awards featuring cheese slicers and graters, to books featuring marble cheddar covers, and a marble cheddar Rubik’s Cube. “It was important to create a space that was eye-catching and really exaggerated the love of cheese,” said Galluccio. “I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to get an office space that looks exactly like it.”

The spokesperson goes on to share jingles created out of consumers’ social posts, like Ross H.’s “If it doesn’t say Armstrong, then it’s not for me. ‘Cause I’m a big fan of good, tasty cheese” and Susan G.’s “I call myself a cheeseaholic and Armstrong is my favourite brand.” His jingles come complete with auto-tune and a steady stream of Twitter and Facebook likes. “Cheese to that,” says the spokesman in a deliberately cheesy pun that closes out the spot.

“It’s about bringing out the brand love,” said Galluccio of the creative approach. “We wanted to create a campaign that would be memorable, and we wanted to add humour because we know it resonates. We wanted it to feel like it’s a movement.”

And we quote: “We’ve always known Armstrong cheese has been a fan favourite and we have seen many posts on our social platforms of consumers going to great lengths to purchase our cheese and they have happily shared their stories with our online community… The question became, how do we share this love for all of Canada to see?” — Tina Galluccio, marketing manager, Armstrong Cheese at Saputo

Chris Powell