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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

What’s Inside Matters

Winner in Social Media Tool


Regional pasta brands Mueller's, Anthony's and Golden Grain each have 100+ year history of making great pasta. While they've crafted their pasta with care for generations, they were facing a new category problem: right now, all pasta is seen as the same, and consumers don't see how Mueller's/Anthony's/Golden Grain is different and worth choosing over other brands.

So, we set out to make the brands matter (especially at shelf). We had to reposition the portfolio with a new brand idea that stood out from the competition and had a clear consumer payoff – we had to define our difference.

Our objective: Grow awareness across the branded pasta portfolio by X%*.

To do this, we tapped into social listening to discover a powerful insight that grounded this idea and made it actionable.

*Exact awareness growth goal is confidential and included in the confidential section for judges only.

Strategy and Execution

We leveraged our in-house social listening process and tool in two ways:

Our keyword query included the names and social properties of the three brands' national and regional competitors. Typically, when looking at 6+ brands, the conversation volume seen is high. However, across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blogs, forums and online news, the query was recording only 60,000 mentions in one year.

Since people weren't talking about a brand when it came to their pasta, we decided to look at the pasta conversation in general. How were people talking about pasta? Unlike brand mentions in the category, the pasta conversation was extremely high – over 1,200,000 mentions in the same time frame. That's more than 20x the brand-related conversation!

Analysing this conversation, we realized that people LOVE pasta. But, we also noticed that currently a good pasta is defined by what's on top of it – like the sauce and toppings. Everyone is sharing recipes, or preparation techniques. No one – or brand – is talking about what goes into the actual pasta.

Our brands, however, do know that what goes into things matters – what goes into pasta matters. Our brands rely on a simple recipe of American durum wheat and filtered water, millers with over a century of experience, and stand by being minimally processed and non-GMO, to make better tasting pasta.

This philosophy aligned with key data points* about our target audience too:

We realized as a brand that not all pastas are created equal. Now, we had an audience-oriented insight – "Like you, we believe what's inside matters." – to show our consumers there IS a choice you can and should make in pasta. From social listening to campaign development, we activated this through the "Pasta, The Way It Should Be™" initiative, reaching our audience who, like us, believe what's inside matters and to make better pasta, simple is all you need.

*Source: Simmons 2017-18


We utilized sight, sound and motion across digital video, social, print and influencers to emphasize our difference based on our insight from social listening – showing when you strip away the sauces, toppings and techniques, it's the pasta that counts.

Objective: Grow awareness across the branded pasta portfolio by X%*.

Results: The portfolio exceeded our awareness goal by 173% from August-December 2018, indicating consumers understood our difference and why they should choose us. The client has attributed our marketing efforts as a key contributor to helping achieve the objective

*Exact awareness growth goal is confidential and included in the confidential section for judges only.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Cramer-Krasselt, TreeHouse Foods


Entry Credits