- Oscar Mayer is calling attention to gender disparity in Hollywood with ads and a social media campaign around the Academy Awards this weekend, according to news emailed to Marketing Dive.
- The Kraft Heinz brand purchased digital out-of-home placements near the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars are hosted. Locations include Madame Tussauds, TCL Chinese Theatre and Cinegrill Hollywood. Additionally, the packaged foods marketer is deploying two Wienermobiles in the neighborhood, sporting custom wraps that reinforce the advantages that "directors with wieners" have, per the announcement.
- On social media, Oscar Mayer will broadcast a similar tongue-in-cheek message while sharing details on a new gender parity pledge that is part of the larger "Keep it Oscar" positioning the brand introduced last year. The label is committed to having at least half of its video content directed by women in 2022 and beyond.
Oscar Mayer is leveraging the Oscars this weekend to call out an enduring problem in Hollywood without sacrificing a focus on absurdist humor. The annual awards show frequently acts as a flashpoint for discourse around a lack of representation in the entertainment industry and among academy nominees. Jane Campion, the filmmaker behind one of this year's Oscar front-runners, "The Power of the Dog," is the first woman in history to be nominated twice for best director.
In copy attached to the campaign, Oscar Mayer cited the statistic that "directors with wieners are 46x more likely to win than women," which is derived from The Academy's own awards database, a spokesperson said. Whether consumers will be receptive to a brand like Oscar Mayer tackling sensitive subject matters with a flip attitude remains to be seen.
The deliberate pot-stirring could generate social media chatter for the packaged foods marketer regardless, while also serving as a launchpad for its own pledges around hiring more women to helm video content. Oscar Mayer is including all directors who identify as women as part of the initiative.
Oscar Mayer said it started putting a greater emphasis on diversity across all aspects of its business last year with the debut of "Keep it Oscar." The brand platform, its first major creative effort developed with agency of record Johannes Leonardo, has strayed from traditional storytelling in favor of marketing that is meant to evoke pop art. Earlier this year, Oscar Mayer sold face masks with the appearance of bologna as a way to mock self-care trends. The lunch meat-inspired products were made with beauty and skincare brand Seoul Mamas and sold on Amazon for a limited time.
The two-pronged approach of more culturally tuned-in marketing that's also purposeful aims to give Oscar Mayer a sales boost after years of standing as a laggard at Kraft Heinz. Several years ago, Kraft Heinz wrote down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands by $15.4 billion.
Like many packaged foods companies, Kraft Heinz has felt the pinch of inflation and a chaotic supply chain in recent months. The company has mulled again hiking prices in the face of such pressures but is investing in "better creative and communication" to drive continued relevance with consumers, executives have said.