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Bumble Bee Seafoods Pushes Consumers To Rethink Tuna

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San Diego-based Bumble Bee Seafoods has launched its new campaign that asks the world to rethink shelf-stable tuna. Created by Bumble Bee’s advertising agency of record, The Many, the new Yes! Bumble Bee! advertising campaign centers on touting tuna’s many benefits by showing up creatively in ways you may not anticipate. The campaign asks and answers questions such as, “Tuna as a source of protein to fuel your workout? Yes! Bumble Bee!” and “Tuna as the ultimate fast food? Yes! Bumble Bee!”

Challenging consumers to reconsider the ways they can use Bumble Bee products, the brand is redefining how it sources, produces, packages and now markets seafood.

“Bumble Bee is a 120-year-old brand that deserves a refreshing, innovative re-boot. We’ve made several changes over the last couple of years to our products and packaging, and now we are topping that off with a breakthrough marketing effort,” said Todd Putman, EVP and chief growth officer for Bumble Bee. “The ‘Yes! Bumble Bee!’ campaign is a positive, uplifting and hopefully a tad bit funny campaign that is meant to bring a smile to people’s faces – something we all need a bit more of right now.”

Putman explained that consumer research revealed that even among regular tuna consumers, people were simply not equating tuna’s many benefits with the Bumble Bee product – offering an opening for the company to work on building brand love and preference.

“It was also time to highlight our product range and innovation in the category,” he added.


Shooting commercials amidst a global pandemic

Bumble Bee Seafoods’ first major advertising campaign in years faced a new challenge – shooting four spots amidst a global pandemic while staying true to the company’s “people first” strategy to keep employees and creative partners safe. To meet the challenges, The Many planned a remote shoot that spanned the globe, from California to Sydney, selecting Australia as the location due to its relatively low COVID-19 rate, while offering the geographic features needed to bring the campaign vision to life.

“You can’t just tell someone that tuna is great, you have to force them to re-appraise it. That’s what we really focused on,” said Damien Eley, executive creative director and founding partner at The Many. “And it wasn’t much more complicated than isolating the awesome benefits of Bumble Bee tuna – benefits that people may not have known or have at least thought about for a while – and then finding the most unexpected ways in which we could deliver that.”

Creative technology, casting and safety solutions made the around-the-world production possible:

From Los Angeles, The Many conducted a virtual casting process with talent located on the opposite side of the world, and also selected Sydney-based director Graeme Burfoot and production company Filmgraphics for Burfoot’s award-winning work across TV, film and commercials.

Using state-of-the-art, live-streaming technology, the U.S.-based advertising agency and Bumble Bee Seafoods’ marketing team were able to safely remain in the U.S. and oversee production from abroad.

The week-long shoot was conducted in real-time using QTAKE (an advanced software application for video professionals used to log, capture, playback and edit video), and Zoom, which allowed The Many’s creative team and Bumble Bee’s marketing team to work alongside on-location producers virtually.

To manage the between time zones, The Many developed an overnight shooting schedule down to the 10-minute mark that allowed both the agency and the West Coast-based Bumble Bee Seafoods team to view and approve shots in real-time and stay on track while allowing for breaks.

An on-set safety manager was assigned to ensure COVID-19 protocols were followed, from daily temperature taking to mask enforcement, defining a new method for producing advertising campaigns virtually without sacrificing quality.

The campaign by The Many is a series of four spots that utilize the iconic styles of sports, active lifestyle and fast food commercials to surprise viewers with the benefits of shelf-stable tuna and push up against category norms. Think: sports performance and protein. The outdoors and portable energy. Fast food and flavor. Delivery and convenience. The unexpected part? The vehicle is Bumble Bee tuna in its well-earned, real-life position as a protein-rich food source.

The first two ads “Get Your Melt On” and “What Fuels You?” have been released with the remaining two to be aired in September. Linear TV markets include New York, Boston and Baltimore, while connected TV markets include Los Angeles, Miami and Tampa. The advertising campaign also will extend to digital and social, as well as public relations and influencer executions.


Redefining the tuna category

Bumble Bee Seafoods is placing a renewed emphasis on putting consumers at the center of its decisions. The pandemic has brought a surge of new users to the tuna category, particularly younger consumers. In consumer research conducted by Bumble Bee, 82 percent say the product is better than expected with three-fourths of them saying tuna is a great value.

Strategic investments, including the new advertising campaign as well as an award-winning packaging redesign hitting grocery shelves now, are milestones for Bumble Bee’s continued brand transformation journey.

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