December 6, 2023
Announcing its plans, the Unilever-owned mayonnaise marketer indicated that the annual sporting event is a major source of food waste, providing a timely opportunity to promote “Make Taste, Not Waste,” which encourages creative use of leftovers. Previous Hellmann’s Super Bowl commercials have also focused on the topic, seeking to balance a purpose-led message with the entertainment value fans seek during TV’s biggest night.
“Given what we know about food waste the day after the game, there couldn’t be a more relevant moment to drive awareness and make an impact about the issue,” said Chris Symmes, marketing director of Dressings North America at Unilever, in a statement. “For the last three years, we’re proud to say that our message got people talking about leftovers—we even saw an increase in the conversation about food waste by double digits—and we have plans to make this year the most impactful yet.”
The brand’s latest big game play follows a Super Bowl campaign earlier this year that paired actors Jon Hamm and Brie Larson, punning on their food-friendly names. The effort, which ends with a cameo from Pete Davidson, was also made with Wunderman Thompson and received a muted reception.
Hellmann’s has ramped up its football presence in recent months, inking a lifetime endorsement deal with Titans quarterback Will Levis in August. The strategy has extended to the college arena, as well, through a partnership with the SEC that included the inaugural Hellmann’s Award.
The Hellmann’s news arrives as a deluge of Super Bowl-related advertising announcements are expected in the weeks ahead as brands try to stoke anticipation for what are often exorbitantly pricey campaigns. CBS in November said it was “virtually sold out” of Super Bowl LVIII inventory, with reports suggesting the network has sought between $6.5 million to $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime.
Hellmann’s factoring a purpose-driven theme into its Super Bowl strategy also comes as parent Unilever reassesses the tactic that it helped popularize. The packaged goods giant, which is in the midst of a leadership transition, has stated that it will not force-fit purpose on all of its brands after its approach became unfocused in recent years.
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