Miracle Whip, the tangy mayo-like spread from Kraft Foods, has taken the unusual route of offering an online forum to consumers who both love and hate its product.
The brand is embracing these strong reactions to pique interest among non-users with the "Are You Miracle Whip?" campaign that acknowledges "We're not for everyone."
Miracle Whip's YouTube page features commentary from regular Joes as well as celebrities like Jersey Shore's DJ Pauly D, political consultant James Carville, and comedienne Amy Sedaris.
According to Rupal Patel, senior associate brand manager at Kraft, the videos are unscripted. "It's real commentary from talent who truthfully love or hate the condiment," she says.
Miracle Whip's YouTube page also features a running counter of consumers who have selected "Love Us" and "Hate Us" -- nearly 37,000 versus about 3,000. According to a Miracle Whip rep, the brand has had 1.3 million channel views and 600,000 video views on its YouTube hub since launch.
The Love/Hate counters also feature comments from users that range from, "My grandma makes the best potato salad with Miracle Whip!" to "What is it!? Mayo with sweat whip cream!? I'd rather die than eat it!"
The brand's YouTube page offers free samples. Patel says Miracle Whip has given away 185,000 samples so far.
In addition, users are given 70 characters or less on the brand's Facebook page to tell Miracle Whip that they love it. In exchange, they are offered a $1 coupon. (There is also a tab for Haters, but no coupon.) The Facebook debate is accessible on Miracle Whip's page on the Kraft site as well.
The campaign echoes an interactive effort for U.K.-based Marmite, in which the Unilever-owned yeast extract product invites people to join "like" and "hate" pages on Facebook.
Patel says the company began conceptualizing the campaign in August 2010. It launched on February 21 and will run through the end of the year. The company worked with AKQA in New York in developing it.
"What consumers tell us is that there's no in between – people either love it or hate it. It's a passionate stance and an intriguing message," Patel adds. "We want to showcase the strong feelings for the brand to pique the curiosity of non-users to try to see what side they're on."
According to Patel, the brand's focus is young adults, aged 18 to 35.
"We recognize that it's a polarizing product and rather than deny that, we're embracing those who don't like it and owning up to [the fact that] it's not for everyone," Patel says.
As a result of the campaign, Miracle Whip has gained about 14,000 fans on Facebook – putting it at 71,000.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.