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 that broke through the clutter and redefined what frozen could taste like. We were tasked to not only drive awareness and increase sales of Michael Angelo’s. We set out 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. 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 – what was more interesting was what they left out – preservatives and fillers.
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. We saw statistically significant increases in aided awareness between test & control markets and post-campaign consideration rose by +20 points, compared to a category norm of +6 points. But most importantly, the campaign helped Michael Angelo’s grow by +0.5 points year over year and outpaced a declining category. In fact, we surpassed our household penetration goals by +370%. Giving a little-known brand a distinctive, memorable voice, by simply saying, “NO.”