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From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Lost Recipes

Finalist in Video

Entered in Branded Content


McCormick's position as a market leader during the holiday season was being threatened by private label spice brands and lower cost competitors. To consumers, all spices provided the same benefit, and they didn't understand what a difference buying McCormick could make in the flavor of their holiday meals.

McCormick makes the purest herbs and spices, which translates to better, richer flavor for consumers. Our goal for the campaign was to increase McCormick's share of pantry with our core customer base as well as increase penetration and engagement with millennials by demonstrating how using McCormick's pure products would make their holiday meals taste better.

Strategy and Execution

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

But for many families, their favorite holiday recipes from grandmothers and great aunts have gotten lost over time. We set out to show families how the pure flavor of McCormick spices could help turn their memories into reality. We partnered with New York chef Daniel Holzman and real consumer Kristian Rex and his daughter Faye to see if we could recreate the taste of his grandmother's holiday bread.

The secret to unlocking the lost recipe? The pure flavor of McCormick spices. Armed with the power of pure flavor, Kristian's grandmother's holiday bread recipe will be passed down through generations to come.

Through the filmed experience, we demonstrated the power of pure flavor to make memories real. We then invited other consumers to share their own stories about their family's lost recipes on Facebook. We were able to help another real life consumer, Wanda, recreate her grandmother's coconut cake.

We set out with the question, "Can pure flavor make memories real?" and successfully answered yes by helping two of our consumers recreate their family's lost recipes. We showed our community that their beloved family recipes were not really lost, but waiting to be rediscovered using the power of pure flavor.


Lost Recipes was the most successful Holiday campaign ever for McCormick.

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

The call to action in the film encouraged deeper engagement within our online community, by way of driving users to the McCormick Facebook page to share their own story. Over 15K consumers reacted to our prompt of "Which lost family recipe do you wish you could find?," with over 800 consumers sharing these lost family recipes with us.

We extended the Lost Recipes narrative to our partner and influencer content, and with the strong emotional story, saw a social engagement rate that was nearly 2x benchmark rates and a click through rate that was 3x benchmark.

And most importantly, we successfully differentiated the McCormick product and boosted preference of McCormick as a brand for the holidays. Among consumers exposed to the campaign on Facebook and Instagram, preference for McCormick was boosted by 6% for females and 20% for the key millennial (18-24) demographic.


Video for Lost Recipes

Entrant Company / Organization Name

R/GA, Gravy, McCormick & Company


Entry Credits