Friday, October 4, 2013

Do you care about the heritage and provenance of your olive oil?

Filippo Berio is launching its largest-ever ad campaign to ride the wave of increasing olive oil consumption in the U.S. (Up 6% yearly over the past two decades.) According to its research, consumers crave historical information about how Filippo established his brand.  Yes, there really is a Filippo, and the television commercial will take us back to 1867 to meet him, while the new bottle design will feature his photo and signature; a move the company says increases trustworthiness. (Lukovitz, 2013)

So what do you think?  Is this an effective strategy?  Will it make consumers want to buy Filippo Berio Olive Oil?  Does it make you want to?

Lukovitz, K. ( 2013, October 2)  Filippo Berio Launches Largest-Ever Ad Campaign.  Retrieved October 4, 2013, from


  1. Julie Stemann MonbergOctober 4, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    I find the Filippo Berio Olive Oils strategy effective. The target group is food lovers who care about high-quality food and ingredients, and who crave historical information about the founder who established the brand, the researchers found. The TV commercial gives you both – the history and the information about the product. I definitely think that the consumers will buy the product.

    My only concern is the fake Italian accent in the TV commercial which can harm the trustworthiness of the commercial. Of course the commercial is supposed to take you back in time to Italy but the accent of the voice over doesn’t appeal to me at all (I consider myself a part of the target group – I care about the quality of my olive oil and I always bring some with me home from vacations in Italy). The Filippo Berio TV commercial reminds me of the TV commercial for the pasta sauce Dolmio, the setting is also somewhere in the countryside of Italy, the only difference is the use of puppets instead of human beings. (
    The fact that the Olive Oil commercial reminds me of Dolmio is not beneficial to the product. Dolmio is not an exclusive product and the target group is different; families, who buys ready-made sauces because they don’t care about the ingredients and find it convenient.

    Although I haven’t seen the print ads yet I think the media selection is great. Food channels and food magazines is the most obvious choice to reach the target group.

  2. I do think this is an effective strategy. As the article says, nearly 99% of the US olive oil market comes from European brands. I would imagine a large percentage of these brands are Italian. Whenever I think of olive oil, I think of getting an appetizer of bread and olive oil at an Italian restaurant, and I usually always enjoy it. So I believe people have a connection of the best-tasting olive oil coming from Italy. I think it makes sense for Filippo Berio to reinforce this connection with people – to connect the name with a real person, and to show how the brand has a long and storied history. I don’t shop for olive oil very often (since I am single a bottle lasts me a long time, and I use it more often for salads or to dip with bread rather than cooking). When I do buy I’m not loyal to a specific brand, so I generally buy something in a mid-price range, i.e., not too cheap or not too expensive. (The last brand I bought was Pompeian.) But if I saw this commercial a few times the name might stick in my head and I would seek it out in the future.

    Further, the article also mentioned that US-produced olive oils would reach 5% in a few years. An olive oil store has even just opened in my town, and it’s proving to be very popular. So perhaps Filippo is anticipating that olive oils will be on people’s minds more going forward, which is another reason to want to “solidify their position as today’s olive oil expert in consumer’s minds.”