Responses by Joanna Hargus, senior marketing manager, Pillsbury
Purpose: Pillsbury is a beloved brand with a rich history and our products have been part of family traditions for decades. However, in recent years, more families are outsourcing their process of making food that they used to do at home. We set out to re-engage with those who still believe that baking at home matters and share their stories.
Reasoning: We sat in different kitchens talking to people for hours about their values, food choices, views on current topics, and we learned things that we never could have by looking at data and making assumptions. In the majority of the homes we were in, everyone had some form of their “House Rules” hanging on their walls. With all the stress of the outside world, these rules stay focused on what matters most— the things made at home, whether it’s a life lesson or a warm cinnamon roll.
Challenges: The love for Pillsbury hadn’t really gone away in consumers’ minds and that was the key to re-igniting brand love. We had strong brand assets like The Bake-Off and The Pillsbury Doughboy that were underleveraged, so you’ll see us get back to using these icons in new ways. After we let our consumers lead the way, things began to fall into place. The most challenging part of the project came from ensuring we were building the right understanding and respect for our consumers. The collaborative process with our creative agency (Joan) kept us all invested in the work and kept the consumer front and center at all times.
Favorite details: Our TV ads are all built around these “House Rules” and we cast all real families that use Pillsbury to star in our ads. It was important to us to capture moments that can only happen between actual family members. We found one family through Facebook and in a week they went from running their family farm in North Carolina to being on a plane to Los Angeles to star in a national TV commercial. It was so fun to watch them, and for no acting experience, we think they really nailed it!