Welch's targets Gen X men with gritty 'Tough as Grapes' campaign
- Welch's unveiled a new campaign called "Tough as Grapes" that targets Gen X men and tells the story of how the brand's grape juice is made, according to a news release.
- The effort was inspired by research showing that 59% of Gen X men said they were a primary grocery shopper and that 73% of Gen X men drink juice with breakfast, with 60% reporting they like the flavor grape. Men are also more open to juice's nutritional benefits than women and are looking to improve their health, according to the brand.
- "Tough as Grapes" also aims to raise awareness about Welch's being a co-op where 100% of profits go back to more than 800 family farmers, who work year-round. The campaign, developed by creative agency Barton F. Graf, will run across TV, digital and radio.
Welch's new campaign pivots away from a strategy that's frequently centered on kids and moms to instead try to engage Gen X men, who are often overlooked by Gen Z and millennial-obsessed food marketers. The creative itself strongly breaks with past Welch's ads, focusing on a pointedly gritty aesthetic. Welch's is hoping that the campaign's theme of "toughness," including viscerally depicting a grape-crushing machine, will resonate with the male demo, though the effort also arrives at a time when more marketers are rethinking traditional definitions of masculinity, including those tied to toughness.
Running the campaign across digital, social and TV will likely help broaden Welch's reach, as Gen Xers actually use social media more heavily than millennials, according to 2017 Nielsen research. Welch's is also running the campaign around media with a largely male-centric audience, including NFL coverage and on Howard Stern's satellite radio show, according to Ad Age. This marks another shift for a company that's previously focused media buys in family, parenting and women's lifestyle programming.
Welch's is also the latest brand to show off its farmers and production process in marketing to highlight the natural qualities and health benefits of its products, and to tell a deeper story. These efforts can resonate, as consumers are becoming more concerned about their overall health and where their food comes from.
Similar to Welch’s "Tough as Grapes," Del Monte Foods recently launched "Growers of Good," showing its close relationship with farmers, communities and natural resources. The campaign's TV spots focus on the family-owned farms that grow its fruits and vegetables.