Food marketing, a Quebec love story

What do Justin Bieber and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif have in common? They are the undisputed stars of Canadian and Quebec food advertising this fall. It must be said that, for the big brands in the sector, associating with a personality has never been as popular as these days. Social networks are increasing the reach of their campaigns. They also make this bet very risky. This week, The duty provides an overview of the phenomenon. Last text in the series.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and the children who are competing with him for the role of spokesperson for milk these days are far from having been the first to represent the Milk Producers on Quebec television: Dominique Michel, Normand Brathwaite, Commander Piché … And even Georges St-Pierre have also played the game. Because Quebec has its own star system, betting on personalities from home has always paid off a lot for major food brands.

“The Quebec public loves its stars,” confirms the marketing director of the Producteurs de lait du Québec, Julie Gélinas. Despite social networks and influencers, television remains an important medium. Quebec’s stardom remains very endearing. It has always justified an investment accordingly. “

In a very internationalized sector, if not downright global, the Quebec advertising market has over the decades established itself with large multinationals such as the Gallic village that it is in many other niches linked directly or indirectly to culture, adds Luc Dupont, professor of communication at the University of Ottawa.

“The case of McDonald’s is eloquent: the multinational has accepted [au début des années 2000] to adapt its message, which was the same everywhere on the planet, to the specificities of Quebec, he said. Pepsi did the same with Claude Meunier. This has led these companies to adapt their messages more according to the markets and to target more segmented audiences. “

Who benefits from the ad?

Naturally, advertisers take the time to carefully choose who will be their advertising face over a campaign that may last just a few weeks or stretch for years. But the reverse is also true: many athletes or artists have seen their careers take advantage of this great showcase offered to them by advertisements which are played and replayed, sometimes to the point of thirst.

“A 30-second ad that runs non-stop on TV and on the Internet and more, you will often be in people’s heads,” notes the Montreal specialist Gary Arpin, of the National cabinet. If you have a new album or a new cultural product to launch, that will mean that you risk selling a little more. It can help increase your notoriety. “

The popularity inflated by advertising is obviously a phenomenon as old as the world … of the media. It is exacerbated these days by the emergence of influencers and content marketing, where high profile personalities on Instagram or TikTok are best known because they are… famous. An advertiser who invests to make them see more will attract the most hast thou-seen of these influencers, that goes without saying.

But to ensure a post’s popularity with the widest possible audience, nothing beats a personality known for something other than their Instagram account, experts confirm. Quebec advertising history reinforces this impression.

The little history of food advertising here speaks volumes about this. The proof, in six steps.

Patrick Roy, Mario Tremblayet Uber Eats

The former Canadiens goalie and the one who was his last head coach with the Sainte-Flanelle have come full circle, thanks to Uber Eats, in a controversy that will have made the Habs fanatics talk for 25 years. Quite a publicity stunt for the American restaurant delivery service considering the fact that both Patrick Roy and Mario Tremblay had refused until then to comment publicly on the game of December 2, 1995 during which Roy left the ice in a fury after having granted nine goals, under the disapproving gaze of Tremblay. The result will have been an advertising campaign heavy with innuendo which certainly has something cathartic for Montreal hockey fans.

Claude Meunier and Pepsi

Elsewhere in the world, Madonna succeeded Michael Jackson as the spokesperson for Pepsi. One after another, the two pop superstars sparked their own respective little scandal that ended their relationship with the soft drink maker abruptly. Meanwhile, in Quebec, comedian Claude Meunier made Quebecers laugh, among other things thanks to his character as a hockey player who literally had the “jammy” puck to his “gouret”, alongside a Lionel “Linel” »Duval without words.

Yves Corbeil and Fleischmann’s margarine

The actor Yves Corbeil will have walked much more than a mile in his [propres] shoes ”thanks to this advertising campaign which was undoubtedly the forerunner of a very strong trend today on social networks: to quote for no apparent reason the very deep words of an old sage almost unknown to the public. And because at the end of the 1990s, viral videos did not exist, it will be up to the satirical group Rock et Belles Oreilles to revisit this ad, and at least two other margarine ads of the time, including the one on its color “varte with moldy motons in it” which did not distinguish it very favorably from butter.

Guy Lafleur and Yoplait yogurt

Long before McDonald’s grabbed the Canadiens’ star players, and even a little before Mario Tremblay himself embarked on a long and prolific career as a publicity spokesperson, starting with Montclair mineral water, he there was the blond demon himself. Forty years ago, Guy Lafleur became, in the space of a few advertisements, the face of Yoplait yogurts, saying: “To taste Yoplait is to know how to eat well. »Obviously, for a sports personality, to advertise is to know prepare well a post-career …

The Simardet Laura Secord family

What is it that makes the Simard family sing? A question they answered in six anthology advertisements dating back to the 1970s. We still suspect that Nathalie and René Simard will have resorted to a lot more than Laura Secord pudding to extend their musical career into the new millennium . Today, Nathalie Simard is a radio host and last spring launched a magazine focused on well-being called Simply good with Nathalie.

Olivier Guimondet the Labatt 50

In 1985, Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon preferred the light Labatt, because “it went down well”. But long before that, in the late 1960s, the grandfather of all Quebec comedians, Olivier Guimond, didn’t even need to advertise Labatt brewers to increase his sales. Guimond presents himself as one of the first antiheroes of advertising. It must be said that “he knows that”, as he then often repeated. Since then, and despite the emergence of social networks and influencers, Quebec advertising has remained, thanks to a very distinct cultural universe, a unique phenomenon of its kind. To paraphrase “Mad Dog” Vachon: you don’t need a dictionary to understand that.

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