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We're On The Side Of Food


Create a series of long-copy press ads which prove that Hellmann’s is 'On The Side Of Food'.



Our perception of food has changed since the days before social media, food bloggers and fad diets.

There was less judgement back then; people ate for fuel and for the simple joy of it.


Let's take it back to this simpler time. Many well-known phrases feature food – “too many cooks spoil the broth”, “don’t cry over spilt milk"... I explored the origins of expressions like these, using the history behind the phrases to remind that back in the day food was about community, sustenance and joy: not judgement. 


Print, radio. Could also be printed on paper placemats for cafes, fish & chip shops etc

What on earth is a "kettle of fish", anyway?

Meaning a different thing altogether, the expression "a different kettle of fish" is said to originate from 19th century Scotland. Essentially a large saucepan, fish kettles were used by Scots for generations to poach salmon whole.

Things were simpler back then. We're talking about the days when people caught their own fish. Straight from river to table and down the hatch. No mucking about with taking a photo first; food was precious fuel.

But today fish is often met with wrinkled noses, called names like "stinky" or "slimy".


Sure, smoked salmon is trendy, but what about trout? Anchovies, tinned tuna, sardines? You don't see them strutting about on social media against a bed of avocado. Does that make them any less worthy?

Think of smoked herring, salty slivers served with a squeeze of lemon. Battered cod, soft flakes encased in a crackling shell. Tuna and sweetcorn stuffed rolls, filling swirled with mayonnaise. It's valuable stuff, this fruit of the ocean.

Back in the day, people cared less about whether food was fashionable or attractive. As the old saying goes, maybe we should take a leaf out of their books. Now that would be a different kettle of fish indeed.



Who was the first person to "bring home the bacon"?

Some trace the phrase to the traditional fairground game of catching a greased pig, where the winner got to take the animal home.

Others claim it has more modern origins, coined by the mother of the boxer Joe Gans in 1906. She told her son to "bring home the bacon" before a fight. He won, sending his mother a telegram to say he had "not only the bacon, but the gravy" too. Along with a cheque for six thousand dollars.

Wherever the phrase came from, it's clear that back then bacon was considered a prize.

But in a world united against saturated fats, bacon has had a tough time lately. Nowadays it's all about bacon substitutes—turkey bacon, mushroom bacon, seaweed bacon...

Have we forgotten the simple pleasure of treating ourselves?

Bacon and egg butties the morning after the night before, yolk-soaked and sizzling. Rashers resting on pancake beds, maple syrup drizzling lazily down the sides. The mighty BLT, all crisp lettuce and salty deliciousness, bread slathered in mayo.

So come on, let's bring that bacon home—or whatever your food vice may be. Because, let's face it, life would be boring without it.


To be "in a pickle" is to be in a sticky situation.

The phrase is said to come from the idea of being mixed up—just like the different vegetables found in a jar of relish.

The art of pickling itself has been around for thousands of years. Preserved food was vital for helping people survive the winter, or for long journeys at sea.

Cleopatra was even rumoured to credit her beauty to the pickles in her diet, while Roman emperors gave them to troops to make them strong. There's power in the pickle!

And yet here we are today, peeling pickles out of burgers; jars shoved to the back of the cupboard, only to be brought out at Christmas.

Why? Just think of chomping down on a zingy, vinegar-soaked gherkin with your fish and chips. Blobs of pickle piled between cracker and crumbling cheddar. Slices crunching between burger buns, mustard and ketchup oozing out the sides.

Let's take it back to the good old days, when pickles were celebrated. Let's preserve the pickle.

And the next time you find yourself "in a pickle", ask yourself whether that's such a bad thing.



In Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra, the heroine refers to her carefree youth as her "salad days".

A phrase used to describe one's golden years, the green leaves of the salad represent youthfulness.

So why, if so green and glorious, do salads face criticism today? Sure, they're considered a healthy option, but they're also looked down on as dull: a sensible substitute for something tastier.

"You're only getting a salad?", they say. "Don't be boring!"

Things were simpler in Shakespeare's day. Food wasn't a contest. It was about eating what you wanted and making do with what you could get.

It's up to us what we put in our gobs—whether you're feeling a full carb-fest feast, or if you just fancy a salad. 

Because we know salad doesn't have to mean boring. Just think of layers of tomato and mozzarella soaked in balsamic. Chickpeas tossed in lemon and spices. Layers of prawn and avocado, drizzled with thousand island dressing.

So lettuce lovers, don't be ashamed! Go forth, like Caesar, and order that salad. These are your salad days, after all. 


Is sliced bread still the best thing?

Bread is a long-standing staple, that's for sure.
Neanderthals began grinding plants for starch thirty thousand years ago. Later, we'd use carbohydrate-rich flour to give us energy for hunting. The ancient Egyptians added yeast, and we haven't looked back since.

In the 1920s, Otto Frederick Rohwedder revolutionised the bread industry with his slicing machine. It gave rise to our favourite sandwich combinations, from the humble ham and cheese to PB&J.

So why now, after all that history, is bread having a hard time?

It seems our hero has been banished from tables; cut out in New Year's resolutions. People boast of bread-free diets, swapping toast for sweet potato slices and pizza bases for mashed cauliflower. Yikes.

Things were simpler back in the day. Food was fuel. You ate what you could get, and bread was cheap and nourishing.
What happened to our noble loaf? Just think of hot buttered toast. Thick slabs stuffed with seeds and grains. Your favourite sandwich softened with a lick of mayo.
It's time to champion bread again. It's time to be a breadwinner. Come on: let's go with the grain and make bread the best thing again.




We're On The Side Of Food

(Execution 2)


Hellmann's is a brand with a strong heritage. But its vintage ads feature some truly repulsive recipes incorporating mayonnaise.


Let's embrace this, using the vintage ads to prove that Hellmann’s has always been on the side of food – and on the side of those willing to experiment in the kitchen. Where would we be today if we never tried new things?



What were we thinking?


No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That’s bread loaded with Hellmann’s mayonnaise and peanut butter. Yes, together. 


One slice is topped with pineapple. Another features eggs and salami. One slice even has a face. Cute. 


Go on, lay into us. Get it out of your system. Laugh. Throw up.


No one asked for this combination. Just like socks and sandals, Jedward, Brad and Angelina… some things just weren’t meant to be. 


But consider this. Where would we be today without experimentation? If Thomas Edison never tinkered around with electricity and light? If Jimmy Page never picked up a guitar and tried his hand at rock’n’roll?


We’re not going to apologise for this combination abomination. Instead, we’re patting ourselves on the back. And to anyone else bold enough to test out new food combos, you should too. 


Because without people like us, think of all the wonderful pairings we might have missed out on. Brie and cranberry. Chicken satay and peanut sauce. Tuna and sweetcorn, swirled with mayonnaise. Some things just work.


So this is for the fellow food adventurers, experimenters, mad scientists in the kitchen. Carry on creating your crazy concoctions, knowing that we have your back. 


Because at Hellmann’s, we’ve always been on the side of food.

No one asked for potato salad in cake form.


What’s going on here? From the Hellmann's piped like frosting, to the decorative flower-shaped vegetables... your guess is as good as ours. It’s party food alright, just not a party we want to be invited to. 


Like Spam fritters, The Osmonds and handlebar moustaches, some things are better left in the 70s.


But—we’re not going to apologise for this monstrosity. Instead, we’re patting ourselves on the back. And to any other food experimenters, you should too. 


Because if it weren’t for people like us, we’d still be stuck in the dark ages. Eating unseasoned meat and plain potatoes; grinding plants against rocks for food. 


Think of the food creations we might have missed out on. We wouldn’t have carrot cake, cheesecake, fish cakes. Potato cakes—the mighty hash brown—crisp, fluffy and dipped in ketchup. 


So, fellow food adventurers, risk-takers, flavour explorers. Keep on creating in the kitchen, knowing that we’ve got your back.


Because at Hellmann’s, we’ve always been on the side of food.

Don’t ask. 


There’s a lot of places for Hellmann’s, but I think we can all agree this isn’t one of them.


Featuring suspicious flecks and flesh-colouring, this recipe is an “exciting surprise” alright. It’s just less hors d'oeuvre and more "oh dear".


So go ahead, laugh at us. 


But once you've got that out of your system, imagine what the world would look like if no one ever gave things a try. If Picasso never picked up a paintbrush, or Hendrix a guitar.


We’re not going to apologise for these lumpy, bumpy blobs of unpleasantness. Instead, we’re patting ourselves on the back. And to anyone else exploring new realms in the kitchen, you should too.


Because if it weren’t for people like us, think of the food fusions we might have missed out on. Smoked salmon, cream cheese and lemon. Tomato, basil and mozzarella. Prawn and avocado, drizzled with thousand island dressing.


So, fellow food adventurers, pioneers, dare-devil diners. Don’t ever stop experimenting, knowing that we’ve got your back.


Because at Hellmann’s, we’ve always been on the side of food.

Creative/Copywriter: Eveline Johnson

Creative Directors: Angus George & Johnny Watters 

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