Single strangers were asked to go on blind dinner dates and feed their potential matches while being filmed for a new campaign from Knorr. The 177-year-old Unilever brand's thinking? That if it paired up people who like the same kind of food, it might spark a romantic connection.
The approach makes sense; according to the brand's research, people are more likely to be attracted to each other if they have the same taste in food. And of course, it's not surprising that the effort, called "#LoveAtFirstTaste," comes from First Kiss director Tatia Pilieva, who seems to excel at getting strangers to be intimate.
"We matched singles who'd never met before through flavor profiles and watched what happened," said Ukonwa Ojo, senior global director at Knorr. "We thought it would be great to bring to life the ability of flavor to help you understand yourself and to help you connect with others via a social experiment. The brand is really all about flavor."
The digital campaign, which comes from creative shop MullenLowe, used a 12-question quiz to match the singles to their flavor profiles. Each profile has a cheeky name like Salty Adventurer, Roasted Romantic, Gracious Grazer, Tangy Dynamo, Meaty Warrior, Spicy Rebel, Sweet Sensualist, Deep Sea Dreamer, Rustic Ranger, Earthy Idealist, Potent Provocateur or Melty Indulger.
Consumers can find out what their own flavor profiles are on Knorr's website. That profiles help Knorr connect consumers with tailored recipes and products, which in turn helps "improve their experience with cooking and with Knorr's overall suite of products," said Ojo.
"We were trying to figure out if flavor would be a fast track to some kind of emotional connection," said Tom Hudson, global creative director for MullenLowe.
For some of the couples it did, in fact, help foster a connection.
"It was great to see the chemistry that did unfold between these couples," said Ojo. "We know that one of these couples [Antonio and Irma in the video], even though that shoot was done months ago, they're still dating today."
The couples were aware they had been matched by flavor profile, but "they didn't know they'd have to feed each other," Pilieva said. "All of that happened live onstage. When I shoot, I always preroll, so they never know when I'm rolling or not rolling, and in this style, I shoot with three or four cameras. I think in this case, we were running six so there's no action or cut. It's a conversation. It's as real as I can humanly make it with cameras and equipment and people standing around."