In 2023, McCormick saw an opportunity to expand beyond sandwiches and hot dogs.
Our charge for the year was to get consumers to see the versatility in French’s Mustard and grow brand awareness in a culturally relevant way. We needed to deliver a pr-able idea beyond paid media placements that would get America tasting and talking.
For years, we excelled at showing consumers how French’s Mustard is the perfect condiment for sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers. We instilled mustard usage habits from cookouts to kitchens. Old habits, die hard.
To break these habits, we had to push the boundaries of mustard and how consumers perceive us. Mustard can be squeezed and spread. But what about being bitten into? Carried around? We had to think outside of the bottle.
The vision was clear. We needed a radical and culturally relevant new host food to stretch and showcase the versatility of mustard and get people talking.
We needed something that consumers were already buying and a partner that had strong brand loyalty. A flavor pairing that made people curious and a partner that would drive undeniable intrigue.
Enter: SKITTLES. With its vibrant colors and established fan base, Skittles was the perfect partner to help us make bite-sized tangy candy with a name that people recognize on every candy shelf.
We got to cooking with Skittles and launched a nationwide campaign starting with embargoed outreach to national media and influencers for collaboration. Paid media and social support. For National Mustard Day we hit the road in a custom French’s Mustard SKITTLES VW bus to hand out to consumers in 3 key East Coast cities. For consumers who couldn’t taste test at one of these events, we held an online sweepstakes. Demand for our tangy creation was so high that fun size packs and limited-edition merch were reselling on eBay.
Our goal was to tap into culture and get people talking about the versatility of French’s. We earned +5.1B earned media impressions, surpassing the +800M goal (644% over the 2023 KPI and 491% over the 2022 KPI.) The activation also led the brand to record-breaking consumer engagement with earned social media impressions at 265M garnered across Instagram, TikTok and X (formerly Twitter) and in 1PD data acquisition. Our landing pageviews hit 662K, a 4992.31% increase from the 2022 activation for Mustard Donuts (13K pageviews). French's Mustard Day 2023 produced the most successful email opt-ins at 66K.