Cannes Lions

Ocean Spray - Power Your Holiday

ORCHARD, New York / OCEAN SPRAY / 2024

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The Ocean Spray brand was losing ground with millennials right as they were beginning to take over holiday hosting duties. To them, cranberry jelly - an iconic but antiquated part of Thanksgivings of yore - was a vestige of a much earlier time. 55% of millennials hadn’t grown up with cranberry jelly on the Thanksgiving table, and 40% of them didn't consider it an important part of Thanksgiving.

Knowing we had to capture the attention of millennials, we probed two areas: their relationship with advertising and their relationship with Thanksgiving. Both areas presented a challenge.

Millennials were immune to traditional CPG advertising. The CPG playbook was not going to work. And after several years of canceled holiday gatherings, disrupted traditions, and significant collective grief, an ad that showed saccharine holiday magic would feel dishonest and out-of-touch.

Our key strategic choice was to take the collective anxiety around this first post-COVID Thanksgiving and create a moment of joyful catharsis.

We made the product’s taste, nutritional value, or use cases irrelevant. Instead, we let the jelly’s eccentric qualities lead our creative execution, making it a standout on a table of beige, bland Thanksgiving foods.

We pushed this product’s strange qualities to the extreme, with a film where the power of the jelly’s wobble compels an entire family to wobble along with it. Turning their boring holiday dinner into something wild and absurd.

The takeaway: when you bring the cranberry jelly, you bring the fun.

With careful budgeting, we cut a :60, :30, :15, and :06s for TV, OLV and social.

We scaled the campaign with wild postings, one high-profile TV placement and a cranberry yule log video: the longest-ever pre-roll.

And to make this moment impactful and culturally contagious, we gave the jelly its own original dance track and turned the wobble into a dance that anyone could do, via a TikTok challenge (#JiggleWithUs).

As it turned out, cranberry jelly didn’t just bring the fun - it brought results too.

In all its charming originality, the campaign made Ocean Spray cranberry jelly the most talked-about product in pop culture for the holidays. And it did it with almost all its investment in OLV and social, and very little investment in linear TV (airing only three times during the World Series).

The campaign received over 4.5 billion PR impressions, and from TikTok to Twitter saw over 236k engagements. Brand mentions were up 77% YoY, with positive mentions up +399%, and all mentions staying 94% positive/neutral.

Sales for cranberry jelly increased 27% YoY, sales for juice increased +6% YoY, and sales for dried fruit increased 11% YoY.

And we successfully got Ocean Spray products into millennial homes: cranberry jelly saw a +1.4pts increase in millennial household penetration, and even juice and craisins increased by +0.6pts and 0.3pts respectively.

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