Eating a fruit platter in the bathtub. Squeezing in a quick bite to eat on a Zoom call. Eating cereal out of a punch bowl. Hey, it’s been a really weird year for everyone, and Loblaw Companies Limited isn’t judging.
The grocery giant on Monday released a new wave of advertising for its Market Division, which includes the Loblaws, Your Independent Grocer, Independent City Market and Zehrs banners. The advertising, which includes a 30-second national TV spot and a 60-second ad running across YouTube and social, is part of the “Food Lovers Unite” platform the company introduced in 2019.
The ads show people enjoying food in a variety of different—and sometimes unconventional ways—before finishing with the tagline “There’s no wrong way to eat.” While the company’s pre-pandemic advertising focused on people’s individual preferences (ketchup on steak, for example, or pineapple on pizza), this wave of advertising presents a light-hearted look at how the pandemic has changed the way we eat and the “kitchen fatigue” resulting from 12 months of having to prepare three meals a day.
"It's been a heck of a year. People still love food, but we can see the fatigue of cooking settling in," said Wes Brown, vice-president, brand management, retail for Loblaw. "[We’re saying> there’s no judgement: You do you. If the dishwasher is full and you’re eating cereal out of a punch bowl, go for it. We’re here to cheer you on, we’re here to have empathy, and we’re here to support you as a food lover.”
The idea was to present charming, but ultimately realistic scenarios involving food, said Brown, whether it’s eating peanut butter directly out of the jar or covering a wedge of lettuce with dressing and eating it over the sink.
“With great food, it doesn’t matter how you’re eating at this point,” said Brown. The company remains focused on positioning itself as a Canadians’ “foodie friend” and increasing its affinity among Canadian shoppers, he said.