French’s Puts ‘Fun,’ ‘Value’ on Menu

NEW YORK Reckitt Benckiser’s French’s Mustard mixes family-friendly, feel-good themes with a value message in an integrated, multimedia push touting the brand’s namesake condiment.

The program includes in-store displays, heavy promotional support including high-value coupons as well as TV advertising, a revamped Web site, recipe development and a consumer contest.

Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York is French’s lead creative agency; sibling MPG handles buying chores. The client routinely spends about $10 million annually in domestic major measured media, per Nielsen.

Ads introduce the tagline, “Happy starts here,” and the overall push is designed to lead consumers to associate French’s Mustard “with good times with family and friends,” said Elliott Penner, client president.

Breaking in mid-May and running through summer, the work featured French’s squeeze bottles that magically fly through the air drawing words and pictures on people, places and things — — without making a mess or staining anyone’s clothes, of course. In a TV spot called “Crowd,” a bottle  draws hats, glasses, mustaches and butterfly wings on fans in the stands at a baseball game. The bottle ultimately sky-writes “40% More Free” on the banner of a biplane flying over the field.

That message refers to a promotion launching in the high-product-consumption months in the spring and summer. French’s will offer its 20-ounce bottle of Yellow Mustard for $1.50. That’s less than the brand’s 14-ounce bottle, which now sells for about $1.93. These new “value packs” will be supported by 2-page FSI’s in major newspapers.

“Everything about this campaign — the visuals, the music, the voiceover, and the colors — reinforces what French’s is all about,” said Drummond Berman, cd at Euro RSCG. “French’s is upbeat and optimistic and all about great times and happy moments.”

There’s also an inaugural French’s Cook-Off recipe contest that will culminate with a live cooking event in February 2010 and a $25,000 grand prize.