Does the mere thought of mayonnaise make you mad, for no reason? Kraft Heinz knows the soggy sauce makes many consumers cringe, which is why its new campaign aims to help mayo-phobics get over their irrational fear of the condiment.
The company best known for ketchup now shines the spotlight on what has often been considered the lighter, less special version of mustard, ketchup’s classic partner in crime. The infomercial-style ad promotes its “Overcoming Mayophobia Kit”, which includes gradually increasing “doses” of the dressing that range from a 2 oz. packet to an entire bucket. As part of the four-monthplan to get consumers to face their fears, the kit comes with items like a blindfold and clothespin, so people can learn to enjoy mayo without having to see or smell it. The narrator waxes poetic about the insightful kit, mentioning that “for some, just the idea of admitting that mayo tastes good can be a difficult step.”, so a Sharpie is also included for consumers to cross out the label and enjoy in ignorance. Meanwhile, a banner reading “Not an expert.” streams below him. Fans of the brand can enter a sweepstakes for the chance to send a limited-edition kit to the mayo-phobic in their lives. Entrants must tag Kraft Mayo on Twitter or Instagram and use hashtags #mayophobia and #sweepstakes. The ad is being promoted across all social media, including YouTube, where viewer activity has been especially high according to Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Food & Beverages.
By simultaneously poking fun at and promoting the controversial condiment, Kraft plays into the appeal of niche interests, acknowledging that while some people love to love something together, many others love to hate something together. And even though it recognizes that there are few things less jarring than a jar of mayonnaise for many consumers, Kraft also plays up the fact that the dratted dressing does seem to squelch its way into everything, from salads to sandwiches, that Americans eat. That said, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the mayo business is actually booming, with Americans spending $2.1 billion on the product last year—a 16% increase compared to 2019.
At its core, Kraft’s new campaign mirrors its own customer’s love-hate relationship with mayonnaise which can perhaps best be summed up by a comment left under the new ad on YouTube: “Me: Yes, i have an irrational fear of mayo. Also me: takes it all for myself.”