How do you take a traditional, well-loved brand and create something new? This was the question posed within the Hellmann’s brief and provided a spirited test for influencer marketing.
Aspirational imagery can undoubtedly come from anywhere and is often the crucial ingredient behind influencer marketing. As a brand, Hellmann's are regarded as a staple product - valued for consistency. However, they are by no means static in their creative ideas and direction.
Their objective; breaking the traditional view of a salad with their own twist. An open brief and a tailored portfolio of creators allowed us to reach a fresh and dynamic community - while providing enough variety to ensure distinctive and engaging content.
Healthy aesthetics remained key to the campaign’s success, which played a fundamental part in Whalar’s matchmaking process. Hellmann’s 'Modern Salad' was aimed at enticing a sleeker, lifestyle focussed audience who enjoy creating (not copying) when cooking.
Alex (@a_ontheroad) is one of our creators who was tasked with attracting a contemporary demographic. His bustling, clean-cut imagery showcases a value in capturing different experiences, while always drawing on moments of quality. Alex reacted to the brief by creating his own classic salad with a Hellmann's twist.
How do you approach capturing the attention of a Millenial audience while working with brands?
I think no matter if you work with a brand or if you are sharing personal content, I always try to give 100% and make the picture top quality for my audience. I also believe that people’s expectations have changed on Instagram and we are pushed to create more and more qualitative and engaging content, which can bring some pressure for sure but it’s also a fantastic way to always try to do the best you can!
When collaborating with brands such as Hellmann's, how do you make a subject matter, such as a salad, engaging for your audience?
Each picture should always tell a story and I believe that this rings true even more when we collaborate with brands. I really loved the fact that Hellmann’s gave me full creative control within my picture and interpret the campaign in the most engaging way possible for my audience. I am not too much of a cook and a salad is definitely something that I could easily do myself at home, I think my audience knew it and really felt connected to the story behind my picture as I stayed true to my style and who I am.
What inspired you to get into content creation and what are your future aspirations?
I love the challenge of trying to surprise people every time I produce some new content for my feed. Instagram is an incredible platform for creative people and I am so proud to contribute to that every day. I have always loved writing, drawing, inventing stories, since I was really young and I couldn’t be any happier to be able to share this passion with a wider audience every day. I am going to keep traveling and producing content, sharing stories with my audience and trying to make as many people as I can smile with my pictures every day! That’s the best I can hope for!
Making it Relevant
Alex echoes the importance of storytelling within any piece of content - all good campaigns must be attached to some form of narrative, otherwise, they lose meaning. This was the aim behind all of our content, and the value resonated through the Whalar team and with the brands.
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Well HELLO there sunshine food 🥑🍋🥕☀️😍 Embracing all things summer with my take on Hawaiian poke bowls - actually the first time I've made them and I'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out 🌺 Went to the posh fishmongers in Clapham South to buy a gorgeous steak of tuna. Very lightly seared the outside, cut into cubes and tossed in @hellmannsuk Sesame & Soy salad dressing along with some sesame seeds 🌿 Their dressing is rapeseed oil, soy sauce, cider vinegar, honey, toasted sesame oil, free range egg yolk, lime, black pepper and cayenne - I have since almost finished the bottle, it's good! Jazzed up with a little extra lime and 💥 Also in these bowls: sugar snap peas, carrots, red cabbage, edamame, radishes, avocado, mango, black Thia rice, spring onions, chillies. Has anyone else tried making poke bowls before - what do you put in yours? 🌴 #Hellmans #ad #BetterWithHellmanns #pokebowl . . . . . . . . . . #dailyfoodfeed #eeeeeats #f52grams #beautifulcuisines #foodphotography #foodbeast #feedfeed #feedyoursoull #forkyeah #tastingtable #foodandwine #spoonfeed #lifeandthyme #eattheworld #thekitchn #foodstyling #heresmyfood #foodblogfeed #tastemade #inspiremyinstagram #postitfortheaesthetic #epicurious #foodgawker #huffposttaste #foodphotography #onthetable
Although at times it’s easy to fixate on the content creator, it is just as important to value their audience.
Carly (@carlyneave) has carefully curated a health-conscious following throughout her career, and is in the forefront of her mind during her creative process.
Within all aspects of our community, the drive is towards achieving balance in their work between organic and sponsored content, and Hellmann’s can be a facilitator of this equilibrium. Speaking to Carly, she underpins these values, while articulating the importance of brand identity behind any collaboration.
In keeping with your healthy aesthetic, what do you have to see in a brand before you collaborate with them?
I have to see their authenticity in the message they are trying to get across. They want to appeal to a healthy market, have they genuinely got a healthier product? I don't want to tell my audience about anything that doesn't do what it says on the tin!
How did you approach twisting the traditional salad into making a fun and interesting meal that engages your audience?
I think people really do want to eat healthier now and make better choices, but they don't want to be bored with their food. We all want to look forward to meal time and with that comes creating recipes that have a unique spin or are so visually appealing that readers think, I must have that! That was my approach to the salad, how do I get people excited about this and adding items like roasted chickpeas are a delicious and enticing way to do so, whilst still keeping it simple.
What originally got you into content creation?
I really do have a passion for wellness. When I was young I wanted to be a chef and I grew up with a professional athlete as a mother so food and fitness was very much ingrained in my life! I was inspired to write to help others understand that healthy doesn't have to mean restrictive and you can do it whilst maintaining a balanced lifestyle. My Instagram grew from there and now I'm absolutely in love with the messages I get to share.
Looking forward, a visual appeal was never in short supply. Golden colours and vibrant aesthetics brought each piece of content to life. We can let it to speak for itself…
Of course, branding and the salads themselves are central to much of the content. However, the campaign was also aimed at family focussed content creators. As Alex has already voiced, story-based content can always find its way into any campaign and is at the heart of what we do.
Although fresh interpretations of salads remained essential to the brief, equally so was creating an organic scene of an intimate moment. Such is the power of influencer marketing - it can be unstaged.
Leading the way in combining family and outdoor aesthetics for this campaign was Fiona of (@fionaannal). Her unique location in Orkney provides her with the platform to curate lasting and engaging content. She always adds something different to the brief, and it is this blended creativity and resourcefulness that gives her the spark we are always searching for.
How do you find content creation in Orkney?
Inspiring! Especially in the summer months, we have such incredible light here, the landscape is so rugged and untouched, I like to incorporate the outdoors whenever I can, and hope that the slower pace of life in Orkney translates to my photographs.
You stick to quite a similar aesthetic to all of your content, what rules do you apply before considering publishing?
I think I do it just by eye now, but it’s taken me a while to reach that stage! Having my own presets in Lightroom has definitely helped though as I merge the edits from previous photos into new ones and make small adjustments to piece them all together.
What’s your approach to collaborating with major brands such as Hellmann’s?
Firstly, I think it’s important for it to be a brand that we already use as a family. Authenticity is key to my posts, as is building that trust with my community - they have to believe that I only work with brands I’m genuinely involved with. The Hellmann’s campaign was an easy and enjoyable one for us as it’s a product we already use so it felt such a natural fit.
Looking back on the campaign, it reinforces the ingenuity our creative community has at their disposal. The ability to take an open brief about a loved brand and turn it into something relevant, yet different, is yet another manifestation of Whalar's seamless ability to produce results. As our creators put their personal twist on Hellmann's traditional salad, we continue to challenge the restrictions of traditional advertising at a fraction of the cost.
Banner image by @chrisichung
Lene Hille is a client executive for Whalar and worked closely on the Hellmann's campaign. If you have any further enquiries about working with Whalar, do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.