"Is that a commercial for mayonnaise?" my boyfriend asked as he glanced at one of the new Miracle Whip ads on TV last night.
I found myself responding quickly and almost furiously: "No, it's for Miracle Whip!"
It was almost as if the commercial had stirred some mayonnaise demon within my soul, as I came rushing to Miracle Whip's defense. No, it's not mayonnaise. And that's how I damn well like it.
The commercial was, well, effective. And it's an impressively different ad campaign. View the Pauly D (yes, I'm sorry) clip above to see a brief example of the new marketing strategy that Kraft is using to sell its nearly 80-year-old brand.
How do you revive interest in something so well-established? With an ad campaign that capitalizes on the fact that some people hate Miracle Whip, in effect making the product "cool" by very virtue of the fact that -- as the commercials say -- "it's not for everyone."
But for those who "get it," Miracle Whip sets them apart and makes them special and different for liking something outside the mainstream.
It also exploits the long-running Miracle Whip-versus-mayonnaise argument, the one that people have been having for at least my entire lifespan. It gets people talking. Like us.
After the commercial, you're naturally tempted to comment to anyone in the room that you prefer one over the other ("Hey, look, James Carville likes Miracle Whip, too!"). Perhaps the person you're with prefers Miracle Whip, or perhaps you do. You argue playfully about it. You passionately defend your preference.
It's human nature to want to convince someone else to see the error of their ways and the enlightened virtues of yours.
But these aren't the main reasons I'm in love with this devilishly clever little ad campaign. The main reason is this: Kraft manufactures both Miracle Whip and mayonnaise. Whichever one you buy, whichever one you promote, you've bought one or the other of their products. In the end, it's all been a strategy to get salad dressing/sandwich spread on your mind, a jar of white goo haunting your subconscious until you're standing in the checkout line at Kroger with a tub tucked under your arm.
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(By the way, I'm a Miracle Whip fan, all the way.)