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Why Kraft Heinz brand Primal Kitchen is tapping non-traditional OOH to target Gen Z

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Kraft Heinz-owned condiment brand Primal Kitchen is looking to get the word out about its products this summer to attract Gen Z consumers. And it’s leveraging a number of marketing avenues to do so, including out-of-home advertising and TikTok.

The brand, which launched 2015, is starting from a strong position with its content strategy and sales via paid ads on Instagram and via social media influencers, according to Ana Goettsch, vp of marketing at Primal Kitchen. But the brand saw the need to stand out further in a crowded digital market place to attract a younger generation of shoppers, especially as summer travel picks up.

To achieve this, Goettsch said Primal Kitchen started with OOH advertisements like sponsoring lifeguard chairs and towers on July 4th, displaying signs featuring the brand from Malibu to Manhattan Beach in California and giving away product samples. During 4th of July weekend, the brand also took this strategy over to the Jersey Shore on the East Coast, including airplane beach flyovers for five days over the weekend.

“We went with a non-traditional approach like lifeguard towers and the aerial banners and we were thinking, ‘Oh, this is the perfect execution for some creative that we’ve been running on social and we should bring that to life differently than how we market on social media,’” said Goettsch.

Looking more closely at Primal Kitchen’s ad budget breakdown for its current summer campaign, 30% was spent on food truck influencer activations, 10% went to OOH, 10% was spent on paid social, 10% was spent on influencers and 30% went to retail media.

With that said, it is unclear how much Primal Kitchen is spending on its summer campaign, as Goettsch declined to share exact figures. According to Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics, the brand spent $546,200 on advertising in 2022 and has spent a little over $702,000 so far in 2023.

Primal Kitchen is not alone in using OOH ads in places beyond billboards and subways to get consumers interested in their products. Recently, Paramount promoted its show “Yellowjackets” through OOH advertising at airports and in airport bins, and British Airways used out-of-office emails as OOH displays, for example.

With its OOH strategy in place, Primal Kitchen is also leveraging social media platform TikTok for video marketing efforts. Primal Kitchen has made moves similar to health care brands Supergut and Chosen Foods to focus on organic growth, use an education-focused content strategy and produce its own long- and short-form video series on TikTok. The brand hopes these tactics will help attract newer and younger customers, since it wants to engage with their consumers in person and on social media, rather than bombarding them with advertisements.

“One of the things that we really wanted to do with that TikTok series is educate and inform,” said Goettsch. “There’s some data that says that millennials and Gen Z don’t even shop the mayonnaise aisle today so we were thinking of fun, unique, creative ways to reach millennials and Gen Z.” She added that TikTok is all about entertainment and creativity, rather than advertising.

Consumers are likely to be influenced a lot more by OOH ads this summer compared to other times of the year, as they spend more time outdoors in the warmer weather. Statista estimates that spending on OOH advertising will increase by $9.15 billion in 2023.

“The campaign voice, as well as the channel strategy — newer channels like TikTok, and influencers supported by more proven out of home — help it break through and start to show the audience engaging in a topic they probably don’t normally talk about,” said Mat Zucker, senior partner and co-lead of marketing and sales at Prophet, a growth strategy consulting firm. “Ideally, it builds a story for consumers and they reward it with product trial.”

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