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Zatarain's: Experience & Campaign

zatarain's

this work was selected for presentation at brandcenter's board of directors meeting

Bringing the energy of New Orleans to dinner time to inspire more Cajun occasions.

SITUATION

another box on a crowded shelf

Zatarain’s has been a part of the New Orleans tradition since 1889, but outside of New Orleans, Zatarain’s is just another box on a crowded grocery store shelf. We needed to take Zatarain’s from just another dry goods brand to a brand synonymous with the celebration and camaraderie that defines the city of its origin. 

iNSIGHT

CAJUN & CREOLE IS BIG POT FOOD

Cajun & Creole food wasn't designed for small portions, but was designed to be spread across the many and shared. When it comes to Cajun/Creole, there's always room for one more at the table (or front porch step).

 

STRATEGY

a food to gather around

In New Orleans, food is an integral part of southern entertainment and celebration. Food is how New Orleanians express their joy and show compassion and care for others.

APPROACH

inspire more cajun occasions

With 10.4 million visitors flocking to New Orleans each year, we knew we were dealing with massive appreciation for New Orleans culture. This appreciation, however, hasn't translated to consumption of New Orleans' unique cuisine. We needed to connect people's appreciation for New Orleans culture with the Zatarain's brand and remind people that with its almost 130 year legacy, Zatarain's is the authority on New Olreans flavors. 


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America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.
— Tennessee Williams, American Playwright
 
 

New Orleans Voices

 
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PAUL PRUDHOMME, CHEF
Credited with popularizing Cajun/Creole food

"We've always looked at cooking as part of our entertainment. We've always looked at eating as part of our celebration."
 

 
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MARCUS, NOLA RESIDENT

“Zatarain’s is one thing that we like to have at parties, especially during Mardi Gras. There’s always a ton of people in and out of peoples’ homes and keeping some jambalaya or some red beans out or in a crock pot is pretty much the norm. Same thing during LSU tailgates in Baton Rouge.”

 
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JOHN BESH, CHEF
Known for preserving the culinary heritage of New Orleans cuisine

"Jambalaya is one of those things. You're not cooking it for two portions...but what you do is you invite people over.


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#1 U.S. CITY RANKED BY FOOD

"New Orleans is a city drenched in its cuisine, rooted in the culture of setting a pot of gumbo on the front porch and inviting over the masses or throwing a street-wide crawfish boil on a muggy spring day."

(Top 40 Biggest Cities, Ranked by Their Food)


Key FINDINGS

CULTURAL TRUTH

Food in New Orleans is so much more than just a meal, it's an integral part of entertaining and celebrating.

CONSUMER TRUTH

There is far greater appreciation for New Orleans' culture than consumption of New Orleans' unique cuisine.

PRODUCT TRUTH

Cajun and Creole food is large pot food. It wasn't designed for small portions, but to be shared.

 

Creative

COOKING IS THE EVENT. EATING IS THE CELEBRATION.

with our creative, we addressed:

1

AUTHENTICITY

logo
packaging
tone of voice

2

cAJUN OCCASIONS

international aisle
larger format stores
hello fresh

3

COOKING EXPERIENCE

spotify cooking companion

4

CONVERSATIONS

pop-up porch
earned media

 
 

 

1

LACK OF AUTHENTICITY

We infused some much-needed authenticity back into the Zatarain's brand, stepping away from what we coined "holding company chic" to something that felt closer to its roots.

 
 

 

logo redesign

We took cues from Zatarain’s past and reimagined the Zatarain’s logo and packaging to look and feel like an import from a New Orleans general store shelf all while keeping the iconic red awning intact.

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packaging & new products

The newly redesigned packaging is accompanied by a few new products, the Holy Trinity, which consists of pre-chopped bell pepper, celery, and onion -- the base for many Cajun dishes -- and commemorative, cast-iron cookware branded with "The Party's Cooking" tagline.

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TONE of VOICE

Our print advertising invites people into the celebration the Cajun way - with an open invite and a "no-formalities-needed" attitude.

 

 

2

NEW CAJUN OCCASIONS

People love to visit New Orleans, but we needed to inspire more Cajun occasions at home.

 
 

 

International Aisle

Moving Zatarain's from the rice aisle to the International Aisle, gives Zatarain's greater credibility as a standalone cuisine. People can now add Cajun and Creole meals to their regular rotation of adventurous dinners.

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larger format

Introducing Zatarain's to larger format stores like Sam's Club and Costco helps us meet people where they are already shopping for large gatherings and celebrations. We created a “party-size” bucket complete with branded swag to fed celebrations of all sizes.

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HELLO FRESH

Partnering with Hello Fresh allows Zatarain's to highlight its New Orleans flavors and quick, 30 min. cook times.

 
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3

COOKING EXPERIENCE

Since "cooking is the event and eating is the celebration," we knew we needed to bring more excitement to the cooking process. We developed a cooking companion to ensure the kitchen (and the cook!) become the life of the party. 

 
 

 

spotify kitchen companion

Smart playlists that not only queue a list of curated songs, but also correspond to specific Zatarain’s meals. These playlists offer tips and tricks for completing each recipe and prompt when next steps need to be taken for hands-free cooking.

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4

CONVERSATIONS

With our new branding, it's time to reintroduce ourselves as a brand synonymous with celebration. After all, Zatarain's is and always has been the authority on New Orleans flavors.

 
 

 

pop up porches

To join the larger conversation of celebration, we'll take the celebratory spirit of New Orleans on the road. We'll take our pop-up porches to high-traffic and high-conversation areas and let the celebration ensue. We'll have music, food, and everything else required of a full-on New Orleans bash.

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potential press coverage

Of course, we'll invite the press and social influencers. Here's a look at the coverage we might receive in addition to social media posts from attendees of the events.

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team

Eliza Hadjis - Strategist
Jenn Root - Creative Brand Manager
Mike Rodriguez - Art Director
Clayton Notestine - Copywriter
Tyler King - Experience Designer
Aaron Wachsstock - Experience Designer

Accolades

Selected for presentation at Brandcenter's Board of Directors meeting