A Facebook comment triggers Hellmann’s multi-million pound campaign


We know that the only thing brands want from their PR and marketing campaigns is advocacy – someone else positively talking about their product, service or organisation.

Earned media, when handled in the right way, is a powerful commodity for brands. And, it’s right to cultivate it. But, not every company will invest millions of pounds behind one good comment – unless you’re Hellmann’s.

Unilever‘s trusted family favourite has put a £15m global media spend behind a campaign, which stems from a Facebook comment from a fan which described the mayonnaise as ‘one of the greatest things ever created.’ Here’s the TV advert >

It’s good to jump on the back of great comments that the 100+ year-old brand is getting. But, to me, this is the equivalent of taking your dad on a night out with your mates – they spend everything they have buying the beers to get people to like them. Don’t get me wrong – when this happens no one complains. But, hanging your entire global campaign on a local comment? It seems a little rushed and slightly desperate to me.

What happened to:

  • Sourcing positive comments from a range of countries to ensure the campaign is relatable and authentic? It’s a versatile product and, therefore, is sure to have a range of fans praising it in different ways.
  • Keeping the comment on social and devising a campaign to reward brand champions – in a similar fashion to Marmite’s Mamarati? This underground following would give the brand respect by developing a loyal community. It’s not stealing if you’re part of the same family, surely?
  • Supporting with a photocall to make Keith ‘king for a day’? This could either include a photo call with him sitting on a Hellmann’s-inspired throne with his mayonnaise minions surrounding him. Or, he could work from Unilever’s HQ for a day and be involved in product development.

It’s not the first time brands have involved tweets in advertising campaigns. Remember Tesco Wigan’s Christmas 2014 advert?

In small doses it works. But, throwing money at an idea will only take you so far. It’s turning those ideas into robust campaign that will deliver success.

What do you think?

Hellmann's new campaign

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