4 Emotions that Make A Successful Food Advertising Campaign

What do great advertising and great food have in common? Emotion. We don't need Don Draper to tell us that successful advertising campaigns throughout history have appealed to our histories or insecurities to sell products--though it sure is fun to watch him anyway.

The same goes for great food campaigns. Often, food is tied with nostalgia or comfort, but there are plenty of incredible campaigns that have appealed to other, just as effective, human emotions. Here's some ideas and examples of other emotions that sell food effectively. They remind us not about baking cookies at Christmas with granny, but some other (super familiar) feeling entirely. Here's what we mean:


Millennials love the idea of "hangry," and Snickers took the idea and ran. Their ads featured grumpy characters who weren't acting like themselves. Friends told other friends, lovingly, "you're not you when you're hungry" and offered a Snickers as a solution.

The idea worked. By aiming to grow "impulse" purchases by helping consumers to equate sudden hunger with their candy bar, the company sold more than 700,000 more bars than the previous year, according to Mediacom.


Some of the most successful food campaigns show us one option (snore) compared to a second option (yipee!!). Wendy's "Where's the Beef" is an obvious example, as is Pepsi's famous taste test advertising. Recently, we've loved the way that Taco Bell has embraced this idea when launching their breakfast menu items.

The brand has differentiated itself from competitors in other ways, too. Notably, their social media presence is among the best with a quippy Twitter feed and Snapchat taco face filters. Plus, they gathered data from mobile apps like Waze to better understand their consumers' habits on mobile. Taco Bell is fun and breaking through the monotony while their competitors drudge onward.


Food, in many instances, is a courageous act. For starters, a cook is working with fire and sharp knives. Then there are the moments when you travel the world... or even a new aisle in your grocery store... and find to products or dishes to taste. Admittedly, the risks on a daily basis are pretty tiny, but there's a reason why chefs have become rockstars in recent years, associated with late nights, lots of tattoos, fiery vocabularies, and the like; cooking is tough stuff.

For Millennials and foodie-types in particular, courageous eating works as a badge of honor or achievement. That's why we love the Death Wish Coffee commercial from this year's Super Bowl. Sweaty, dirty vikings row a boat on a stormy sea as a flag emblazoned with Death Wish coffee's logo, a skull and crossbones, flaps overhead. It's perfectly on-brand and appeals to food-lovers' excitement for bravely seeking out the latest unexpected food products.


Coconut Water Ad

Many customers respond to a challenge from a brand to live better. That's precisely why influencers are key to a modern advertising campaign, or why celebrity endorsements/spokespeople have always resulted in boosts in revenue

You don't want to shame consumers too much, for sure, but a simple nudge to live more wholesomely works wonders. Take a look at any and every coconut water campaign. Every brand touts the benefits of eating natural, and hydrating well. Note how this one uses the slogan "stupidly simple," implying if you haven't thought of this before, you might not be the sweetest coconut in the bunch.

Planning your food brand's upcoming campaigns? Send us a little more info using the form below so that we can put together a Chicory advertising plan for you.

Name *