Cannes Lions

Lost Recipes


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Smell and taste are the main senses that directly link emotion and memory. That's why certain flavors and aromas can evoke memories of decades past, and why our food rituals at holiday time are so important to us.

Many of us have cherished Holiday dishes that have been in our family for generations. But for some, these family recipes have been lost forever. With this in mind, McCormick leveraged their 128-year history and flavor expertise to rediscover lost family recipes. They called upon flavor specialists, and chefs to turn the memories of family members into reality. Through a lot of trial and error, McCormick were able to unlock the exact flavor combinations that brought these lost recipes back to the where they belong, with their families.


To answer “Can pure flavor make memories real?,” we invited consumers to share their family's lost recipes on Facebook. From the responses, we selected Kristian Rex and his daughter Faye as our family to help during the holidays. We brought in New York chef Daniel Holzman to help them recreate the taste of Kristian’s grandmother's holiday bread, and filmed the trio as they experimented with different ingredients to unlock the lost recipe. The secret? The pure flavor of McCormick.

We amplified the reach of “Lost Recipes” by helping another customer, Wanda, recreate her grandmother's coconut cake as well as partnering with influencers, who shared how the pure flavor of McCormick helped them recreate their own family’s favorite holiday recipes.

Through the video, social engagement, and influencer partnership, we showed our community that their beloved family recipes were not lost, but waiting to be rediscovered using the power of pure flavor.


Lost Recipes is McCormick’s most successful Holiday campaign. It was also the first successful crowdsourcing campaign drawing-in 15,000 people within McCormick’s online community that had a direct affinity and resonance with the idea due to the universal truth in what it means to lose a beloved lost recipe during the Holidays. It enabled deep engagement in that it drew the community closer, creating a sub-community with over 800 people sharing their own experiences of a lost family recipe, and better still, people started helping one another through the power of flavor.

Most importantly, we successfully increased preference for McCormick during the holidays. Among Millennial consumers exposed to the campaign on social, preference for McCormick was boosted by 20%.

The Lost Recipes videos itself garnered 8.5MM views with a record high view rate. On YouTube, the videos saw a 36% view rate, well over the industry average of 17-25%.

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