Miracle Whip Unveils Storytelling Campaign

Torch-wielding mob, literary references urge consumers to 'keep an open mouth'

You say you hate Miracle Whip, but have you tried it?

That’s the core question behind mcgarrybowen Chicago’s new campaign for the Kraft sandwich spread. The effort, which launches this week, features TV ads that use an angry mob from the 17th century to skewer those with pre-conceived notions about the brand. “Keep an open mouth” is the tagline.

Online, print and outdoor ads also are part of the mix. Most of the ads direct consumers to Miracle Whip’s Facebook page, where they can sign up for free samples.

The campaign’s media budget was not disclosed, but Miracle Whip typically spends more than $30 million on media each year, according to Nielsen.

Kraft bought time on Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast on ABC to unveil one ad, “Witchhunt.” It depicts the mob carrying torches and marching through some woods before pounding on a door to a house. A girl opens the door to be confronted by a bearded man who speaks for the group.

“We have come for the foul, unholy beast. The one with the red markings that sits on the table where you sup,” he declares.

Incredulous, the girl replies, in a modern-day voice, “The Miracle Whip?”

“Aye. The Miracle Whip,” the man says with emphasis, adding, “Stand aside that we may burn it.”

Calmly, she asks, “How is it foul? Have you ever tried it?” She goes on to say that the spread is “actually quite sweet and tangy,” quelling the uprising.

Another ad, “Village,” takes a page from The Scarlet Letter, with a woman in a bonnet getting singled out for having the brand’s red “MW” logo on her blue apron. She stands her ground, however, insisting that Miracle Whip is “not odd. And it’s great on mutton.” In the end, a reverend supports her opinion by revealing the red letters on his shirt as well. “Village” will first air during the Feb. 29 episode of Fox’s American Idol.

"Village" and "Witchhunt" were shot in Romania and directed by Joachim Back of Park Pictures. The principal actors came from New York and London, but many in the mob were Romanian, according to Dave Reger, a group creative director at mcgarrybowen.

The agency opted for the period setting and storytelling approach in part to break from category conventions, added Michael Straznickas, another group cd at the agency.

Mcgarrybowen developed the ads before the Oscar buy opportunity arose, so they weren’t made for the Oscars per se. But the storytelling approach fits the environment. What’s more, said Sara Braun, marketing director on the brand, “it’s a great way for us to kick off the campaign in a big way." Kraft also plans to run "Village" and "Witchhunt" in cinemas this summer.

Mcgarrybowen’s last Miracle Whip campaign, “We’re not for everyone,” took a testimonial approach, with people telling the camera why they love or hate the brand.