Est. 1993Sausalito / CA
It Tastes Good to Say No
It feels good to say No

Michael Angelo’s makes frozen Italian meals that taste homemade. So homemade, that customers even brag on social media about passing them off as their own home cooking. But while the brand served up a tasty product, overall awareness was low. Given the competition, with big players like Nestle and Conagra, our challenge was to define a clear brand story so that we could break through that clutter.

We were tasked to not only drive awareness of Michael Angelo’s, but increase sales by +3.1%. We needed to prove that a frozen meal can be the real deal—authentic, delicious, and made without preservatives or fillers.

    Each frozen entree is based on a 100-year-old Sicilian recipe passed down from the founder’s Nonna Foti, which is central in defining our brand story. Following in her footsteps, Michael Angelo’s relies on simple, flavorful ingredients. What sets Michael Angelo’s apart from the big players in the category isn’t only what they put into their dishes, but what they leave out. Since it is all based on traditional, family recipes, our food had no preservatives, no fillers, and no nonsense. This became the backbone of our campaign.

      We launched with a series of online films featuring a character inspired by “tough love” advocate Nonna Foti herself. Our Nonna says “No” to subpar ingredients, shortcuts, and artificial preservatives, with drama and with deadpan humor, showing just how seriously we take the word “no.”

      Our campaign was successful in meeting our objectives by increasing awareness and consideration for Michael Angelo’s, in addition to driving key discovery actions.


        • Aided awareness saw a +4 percentage points lift between Test and Control markets.

        • Post-campaign consideration rose by +20 points in key markets, compared to a category norm of +6 points.

        • Search surpassed click volume goals by +157%.

        • Facebook and Instagram surpassed engagement projections by +2,245%.

        But most importantly, the campaign helped Michael Angelo’s grow by +0.5 points year over year and outpaced a declining category, which dropped 0.8 points during the same period. In fact, we surpassed household penetration goals by +370%. Giving a little-known brand a distinctive, memorable voice, by simply saying, “NO.”