Want a Wonder Bread-themed piñata? This store’s for you

Who: Wonderbrands (Wonder Bread); with Rethink for strategy, creative and PR; media by Society and Dentsu.

What: “It Starts with Wonder,” a new made-in-Canada brand platform and campaign for the sliced bread, leaning into its credentials as a pop culture icon with instantly recognizable brand assets that have inspired arts and crafts enthusiasts for decades.

When & Where: The crux of the launch campaign is an online hub at WonderBreadShop.com, where consumers can purchase a variety of Wonder Bread-themed creations.

The online store is being supported by advertising running across TV, online video, and social, as well as sponsored content on Chatelaine.com.

While the store will be live through November, “It Starts with Wonder” is intended to be an evergreen brand platform that will live on beyond this campaign.

Why: Packaged white bread is “having a bit of a moment” in the wake of the pandemic, with a 13% increase in dollar sales and a 1% increase in unit sales since last year, according to Nielsen data. Wonder, of course, is a major player in the category, but director of marketing Angela McInenly said that consumers are also a “little bit more flirty” when it comes to bread, and the goal is to turn them into loyal fans of the brand.

She said that the campaign’s primary objective is driving brand equity and trying to win over the “category switchers” who are so prevalent within the sliced bread category. “It’s really about us acting like the icon we are, and trying to give people who are super-loyal to our bread even more reasons to love us,” she said.

While the campaign’s core focus is on Wonder’s sliced white bread product, McInenly said that the hope is that it’s effect will spill over into other parts of its extensive brand portfolio, such as tortillas, English muffins, and hot dog/hamburger buns.

How: The campaign taps into the high degree of cultural resonance Wonder has attained over its nearly 100-year history, including being featured in everything from movies and TV shows, to music videos, song lyrics, contemporary art and as a NASCAR sponsor

It has also been adopted by arts and crafts enthusiasts attracted by its distinctive brand assets, like its distinctive red “Wonder” nameplate and red, yellow, and blue bubbles, said McInenly. “It’s very exciting as a marketer to have a brand that has the level of awareness we do, but also distinctive assets where you don’t even need to have your logo attached to them. If you see those three primary coloured bubbles, you automatically think of Wonder, and that’s what every marketer wants to create.”

The campaign is being led by an online shop called “The Wonder Shop.” It currently houses dozens of bespoke Wonder-themed creations, including a Wonder Bread-shaped candle, a knitted sweater, a Wonder-brand doggie T-shirt, and a Wonder Toast Piñata, along with some recipes. All proceeds from sales will go to the creators, which Wonder found through internet searches on sites such as Etsy.

The store is being promoted by a 30-second spot that marks the brand’s first time on TV since before the pandemic. “We went away to do a bit of a reset on the brand, and unpack what we stand for,” said McInenly. “White bread is having a bit of a moment, and this felt like the right time to relaunch Wonder.”

The spot starts out by talking about Wonder’s versatility as a pantry staple, before transitioning into a showcase for some of the Wonder-themed items available on the store, including a piñata, a neon sign, and Muskoka chairs. “All of this is made by those who wonder,” says the closing voiceover.

And we quote: “Great ideas start with Wonder. Fans know this, and have been making their own Wonder-inspired creations for years. That’s why we’re tapping into these long-standing expressions of love by launching the shop, made up entirely of fan-made creations.” —Angela McInenly, director of marketing,  Wonderbrands.

Chris Powell