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Maple Leaf features natural family moments in new ad campaign

The new work promoting its bacon is part of the ‘It’s Only Natural’ brand platform introduced this summer

Maple Leaf has rolled out the first advertising for its Maple Leaf Natural Bacon product in five years as part of the wide-ranging “It’s Only Natural” brand platform introduced last summer.

As with previous commercials in the campaign, the new ads are designed to spotlight the brand’s commitment to natural ingredients, which vice-president of brand marketing D’Arcy Finley calls a “foundational brand promise” for the company.

The objective is to produce what Finley describes as “positive shifts” in perceptions of the Maple Leaf brand among consumers, including increased brand affection and recognition (and credit) for its use of natural ingredients.

This is Maple Leaf’s first campaign for Natural Bacon since the company completely reinvented its line-up of meat products in 2018. The company said at the time that the Maple Leaf brand would focus on what it called the “responsible parenting” demographic, and the new advertising is very much in line with that promise.

“The bacon category plays an integral role in the Maple Leaf portfolio, and has long been synonymous with what the brand is recognized and trusted for—its quality,” says Finley. The company’s research suggests that bacon is a “highly emotional” category, and the advertising is designed to show that because Maple Leaf Natural Bacon is made with no artificial ingredients, it’s the right choice for people when it comes to feeding their family.

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In the campaign’s 30-second anchor spot “Natural Morning Moments,” the voiceover explains that it’s only natural for parents to perform certain actions around breakfast time. That means trying to fish out a piece of eggshell while making scrambled eggs before deciding it’s not worth the hassle and leaving it in, to parents not wanting to be woken up by their kids—even if they’re bringing them them breakfast in bed.

An accompanying 15-second ad shows the dad eating from a plate of bacon he’s carrying to the breakfast table, while the voiceover notes that it’s only natural to make breakfast for everybody and secretly hoping nobody wants any.

The ads are designed to connect natural family moments with the natural foods delivered by Maple Leaf, says Finley. “We really believe it’s an evergreen insight and creative platform that we can use across multiple products,” he says. “It bridges relatable family moments, particularly centred around food, with messaging that Maple Leaf can truly own.”

In addition to Maple Leaf Natural Bacon, this year has also seen the company put advertising dollars behind its Natural Selections line of lunch meat products, its Maple Leaf Natural Top Dogs and Maple Leaf Prime Chicken.

The increase of at-home eating during the pandemic has led to an influx of new customers to the brand, says Finley, and the goal is to retain those customers by introducing them to its varied product offerings.

“[Consumers are] seeking healthier, better-for-you options that give them permission to enjoy the foods their families love without any guilt, and want to shop for products that are values-aligned,” he says. “As sustainability continues to be top-of-mind for many, Maple Leaf is proud to be made by a carbon neutral company, in addition to offering products that are made with natural and simple ingredients. There is a lot we want consumers to know.”

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