Knorr’s Film Debut: 5 Questions with Global Brand Manager Aditya Mohan

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When considering ways to increase brand awareness and consumers’ appetites for its sauces, gravies and other savory products, Knorr settled on a branded content approach. As a result, it released its first short film—with a chilly Arctic setting—called “Flavor of Home.”

In the three-minute video, a young woman named Carmen is seen at work as a Husky guide in Finland. She misses home after three years in the job, and her mother back home in Portsmouth, England, feels her pain.

“All I want is a home-cooked meal,” Carmen says, with the film simultaneously depicting her mother at home cooking up a tasty plate featuring roasted meat and gravy.

Knorr then transports that home-cooked meal—along with Carmen’s mother—to the Arctic outpost. The clip closes with the tagline: “The greatest flavor on earth? The taste of home.”

The film, directed by Oscar-nominated and Sundance award-winner Nanette Burstein, is grounded in Knorr’s new research, which found that 84 percent of those surveyed felt that “being cooked for is an expression of love.” Also in the survey, 82 percent said that certain foods are indeed a comfort when they’re away from.

brandchannel chatted with Aditya Mohan, Knorr Global Brand Manager, about how the Unilever-owned brand sees its market these days and what role “Flavor of Home” is playing.

brandchannel: What’s the marketplace opportunity these days for Knorr?

Aditya Mohan: As one of the world’s largest food brands, Knorr aims to bring flavor to people’s lives. Flavor is more than food and taste, it is about emotions, life’s meaningful moments and the great food that accompanies them.

The marketplace opportunity for us is tremendous. The food scene has never been this exciting and we aim to bring our unique flavor to any opportunity in front of us.

bc: What are the major strategic drivers behind this campaign?

Mohan: Knorr is one of the largest food brands in the world—and America is a very important country for us. Over the years, our products have been adding flavor to people’s food. As a brand, however, we know that beyond inspiring people with our food products and meal ideas through our recipes and cooking videos, there is an emotional role that flavor plays in our lives. Our aim is to bring flavor to people’s lives, which includes both their food and the emotional power of flavor.

In the short film “Flavor of Home,” we used our global insights to tell an authentic story people could relate to. Through this campaign, the strategic goal is to build an emotional bond with our consumers and celebrate the emotional role flavor plays in our lives.

bc: Branded content is proliferating. What will make Knorr’s short film stand out?

Mohan: While there is more of brand content around now, there is also an increased appetite for such content. The standout point about Knorr is the true and authentic story of Carmen and her Mum.

Also, the insight is universal and true and touches people’s hearts. We usually see welled-up eyes and heartfelt smiles after someone watches the film. It truly touches all of us, and reminds us of how the greatest flavor of home is the taste of home.

bc: What made you decide on this short film approach?

Mohan: Short film is a great way to tell the emotional role that flavor plays in our lives and bring to life the real story of a mother and daughter separated by hundreds of miles, and demonstrate the power of flavor to transport someone’s mind back to home no matter where they are.

While there might have been initial considerations of other treatments, from a very early stage in the discussions we were convinced that the short film was the best storytelling approach for this theme.

bc: How are you planning to leverage “Flavor of Home” in future marketing?

Mohan: “Flavor of Home” is doing well and all initial indicators are very positive. Once the campaign is over, we will review and decide its future role.

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