Sunday, December 30, 2007

Triscuit® Romance

A new print ad for Triscuit ‘Rosemary & Olive Oil’ crackers caught my attention and amusement – it’s hard to make out the headline in this scan, so I’ll quote it for you to read:

Jessica opened her box of Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuit crackers. The aroma instantly transported her to the countryside. One bite, and she’d finally found the complexity and flavor she craved, a combination sadly missing from the pretty boy in the ascot.

This is classy and sassy – just the thing for a brand that’s under reconstruction – and beautifully targeted to its audience. You’d hardly think this cracker is more than 100 years old. You can read even more about the cracker itself here.

But the story is never so simple as that. When you Google “Triscuit,” you’ll discover that in the past year, the brand has been at the center of some remarkable upsets in the ad biz, as well as the subject of dozens of blog posts (like here and here).

Writing in The New York Times last April, Stuart Elliott broke the story that Kraft Foods was unhappy with its biggest ad agency, JWT, and showed its displeasure by shifting six brands (worth $160+ millions) to other agencies. That’s put the hurt on JWT big-time.

It looks like the Triscuit business, worth about $12.8 millions, ended up at Euro RSCG in New York, along with the Ritz cracker assignment ($32.1 millions).

Some dissatisfaction has been expressed about Kraft North America’s customer service. Freshbooks’ blogger also noted, “Nabisco has not domain-proofed their brand by buying” This was back in April; now you can, in fact, type in and go right to a micro-site for the brand.

Meanwhile, new Triscuit flavors have been very popular with consumers, with lots of positive comments (e.g.,

Back to the ad itself, which bears a 2008 copyright. I’d led by this to conclude that the ad is from Euro RSCG and my hat’s off to the creative team. Yes, I know it’s quite popular to slam guys – but for the women in the audience, this execution is laugh-worthy.

I also compliment the team on the human touches which put this ad “in contact” with the audience: a lovely woman but no stick figure, a certain dreamy quality to the execution, reinforced by the tagline, “A tasty romance awaits.”

I expect I’ll be old(er) and gray(er) before I see this kind of advertising for, say, oilfield technology. Try as I might, I can’t ever see any E&P company going with a headline like:

Ray-Bob opened the carton with his new CX-370A drill bit inside. The fresh oil covering the layers of its diamond cutters instantly recalled his glory days on the rig floor – he knew he’d finally found the penetration and the sheer power missing from his life since Norma’d left him for that landman in Lafayette.

Ah, well. There’s always the Triscuits.


Richard Laurence Baron said...

Extra thanks to Rob Schoenbeck for what I hope is current information - and I hope someone will tell me if Euro RSCG is NOT the creator of this new Triscuit ad. Happy New Year...

S Reeves said...

Jessica is hanging around the wrong type man so she finds love in a saltier cracker. hmmmm. Let's do a recruiting ad campaign like this in oh eight.