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A new version of the classic Vlasic Stork has debuted with the rollout of a major multi-platform advertising campaign. The three-dimensional look, created in collaboration with advertising agency Merkley + Partners and animation company Passion Pictures, enables the iconic brand mascot to interact more fully with people and surroundings. Despite a visual makeover and a slightly younger attitude, however the Stork’s trademark Groucho Marx-inspired is still very much in evidence.
“The reason Vlasic is the No. 1 brand of pickles is because of the connection we’ve established with consumers over many years,” explained Eric Hintz, VP of marketing at Mountain Lakes, N.J.-based Pinnacle Foods Group, the manufacturer of Vlasic Pickles. “People have developed not only a love for our product, but an emotional connection with the Stork. The Vlasic Stork now embodies the brand in a contemporary and relevant way, while retaining the characteristics that people have come to know and love.”
Centering on consumer behavior uncovered by the marketing team at Vlasic, the Stork-centered campaign bows the tagline “Taste What a Vlasic Can Do” to show how pickles can enhance any occasion. The fully integrated marketing campaign comprises 15- and 10-seond television spots, print advertising, and various digital components, among them a microsite, pre-roll advertising, Web banner ads and social media. The digital and TV elements of the new creative launched late last month, while the print insertions will roll out in July magazine issues. This multimillion-dollar campaign is by far the biggest for the brand yet, with a 20 percent spending increase up from the last campaign.
The Stork has been Vlasic’s advertising character since the late 1960s, when the brand launched its first television advertising campaign. Since, according to folklore, pregnant women craved pickles, Vlasic touted its product back then as “the pickle pregnant women crave.”
“The creative focuses on new ways to think about, and ultimately consume pickles — a food that everyone loves and finds refreshing, even fun and mood-lifting,” noted Alex Gellert, CEO/partner at Merkley + Partners. “The made-over Stork will be revealed not only through traditional advertising, but also via new Facebookand Twitter pages, both of which began to establish a fan base prior to the campaign break.”
Visitors to the microsite, Tastewhatavlasiccando.com, will be able to choose among different occasions for which the Vlasic Stork will provide ideas, tips and usages. The Stork asks visitors to pick an occasion to “see what a pickle can do to make your life practically perfect.”
Vlasic is taking threefold approach to further support the campaign and connect with consumers directly. First, it has aligned with celebrity chef Kevin Roberts Vlasic to create recipes on an ongoing basis to offer consumers meal ideas for various occasions. Second, the brand will introduce nationally the “What Does a Vlasic Do for You?” contest, which will reveal the many ways that people across the United States are eating pickles. Finally, in its third year of cross-country “Crunch-Offs,” Vlasic is giving consumers the chance to interact with the Stork in person, while disseminating recipe booklets and providing a fun, unique way to sample product.