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Team Members
Megan McGuire
(512) 825-2603

Bonnie Lynch
(817) 239-5468

Amy Moore
(832) 563-7530

TABASCO® Campaign 2009 2

3253 Greene Ave. ● Fort Worth, TX 76109 ●

Attn: Paul McIlhenny

McIlhenny Co.
Hwy 329
Avery Island, LA 70513

Dear Mr. McIlhenny,

Our company, CREATIVE MIND®, has created an innovative advertising campaign for TABASCO®
brand pepper sauce. Your previous campaigns have targeted males and tapped into its spicy
flavor, variety of products, and tradition. We have created a campaign that will market your
products to these primary consumers but also to demographics that are not currently being
reached—women and young adults.

Our Big Idea is that the taste and quality of TABASCO® brand products transcend the common
boundaries of nationality, ethnicity and culture. Aptly put, “Good taste knows no boundaries.” Our
objective is to establish what is true, but not necessarily known, about your product—that it is a
shared commodity loved and enjoyed around the world. This campaign establishes the universal
familiarity of TABASCO® by demonstrating the diversity of nations and figures who enjoy it.

The following campaign includes two print ads, a television spot, a radio spot, an outdoor billboard,
a direct mail piece and a guerilla marketing piece. We hope you will agree to work with us, as we
assure you success.


Bonnie Lynch Megan McGuire

Creative Director Copywriter

Amy Moore
Account Executive

Table of Contents
Identity 1
History of McIlhenny Company 2
TABASCO® Today 3
The TABASCO® Family 4
Current Positioning 5
Desired Positioning 6
Positioning Statement 6
Campaign Objectives 7
Target Market 7
Benefits and Appeals 8
Competition 8
Frames of Reference 9
Points of Difference 9
Big Idea 10
Barriers 11
Additional Key Factors 11
Impacts & Actions 12
Mandatories 12
Image 13
Tone 13
Look & Feel 13
Print Advertisements 14
Outdoor Advertisement 18
Direct Mail 20
Direct Mail 21
TV Spot 25
Radio Spot 27
Guerilla Marketing 29

TABASCO® Campaign 2009 1



Parent Company
McIlhenny Company

Avery Island, Louisiana

McIlhenny Company
Highway 329
Avery Island, Louisiana, 70513

Tracy Gibbs



TABASCO® Campaign 2009 1


History of McIlhenny Company

“That Famous Sauce Mr. McIlhenny Makes”
The McIlhenny company was founded back in 1868 on Avery Island, Louisiana by Edmund
McIlhenny. McIlhenny had been given the seed of a Capsicum frutescens pepper that came from
Mexico or Central America. The food in the reconstructed South was very bland, and McIlhenny
worked with his peppers to create something that would spice things up. Eventually, his sauce was
known by the people of Avery Island as “That Famous Sauce Mr. McIlhenny Makes,” and demand
was rising. In 1868, McIlhenny sent out 658 bottles of his sauce for $1 a piece, labeling it
“tabasco,” a word of Mexican Indian origin believed to mean “place where the soil is humid.”

Today, the McIlhenny Company remains a family company with little room for outsiders. Half of the
company’s 200 employees live on Avery Island, with many having had parents and grandparents
work for the company as well. The current president, Paul McIlhenny, is the sixth McIlhenny in the
chain of direct descendants to continue the legacy of this incredible sauce.

An Unchanged Tradition
Since 1868, the place, process and ingredients for TABASCO® brand Pepper
Sauce have remained unchanged. When the planted peppers reach a juicy
shade of deep red on Avery Island, they are picked by hand to be mashed and
mixed with salt. The mash is then allowed to ferment and age for three years
before being blended with high-quality distilled vinegar. The McIlennys insure all
of the pepper crops and personally select the best crops in the field during

Success In a Bottle
After 141 years, TABASCO® is the most famous, most preferred and most
recognizable brand of pepper sauce in the world. It is labeled in 22
languages, sold in 160 countries and maintains an unmatched tradition of
excellence and quality of product.

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The Product
The original, classic red variety of TABASCO® pepper
sauce measures 2,500-5,000 SCU on the Scoville
scale. At the TABASCO® factory, 720,000 two-ounce
(57ml) bottles of TABASCO® sauce are produced each
day. It has a shelf life of five years when stored in a cool
and dry place.

According to the most recent data available from the

NPD Group, a research and consulting firm in Port
Washington, N.Y., around 62 percent of Americans had
hot sauce in their pantry in 2005, versus 57 percent in

The Market
''What makes TABASCO® as a brand great is that the family continues to deliver,'' said David
Martin, president of United States operations for Interbrand, branding consultants in New York. ''It
always tastes the same, has the right degree of spice and flavor. You can always count on it.''

To stay ahead of its competitors and expand supermarket space, the company has been rolling
out new pepper sauces with jalapeños, habaneros and chipotles—one of their best sellers—for the
last 13 years. They recently released a new sweet-and-spicy sauce in seven markets.

Paul McIlhenny, the company's chief executive, has entered into licensing deals to add
TABASCO® to Spam, steak sauce and mayonnaise and ramped up the business with the food
service industry, which now accounts for more than half of all sales.

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The TABASCO® Family

• Original TABASCO®
• Chipotle Pepper
• Green Jalapeño
• Habanero
• Garlic Pepper
• Sweet & Spicy

In addition to TABASCO®‘s six pepper sauces, other products include marinades, snacks,
condiments, chili, candy, and gourmet foods. The TABASCO® Web site offers over 700 recipes
including recipes for chili, buffalo wings, Mexican food and more.

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Current Positioning
TABASCO®’s current advertisement campaign emphasizes the age and reliability of its products,
positioning the brand as a “timeless” family company that hasn’t changed since the sauce was first
created in 1868.

Their print ad campaign includes five different portrayals of the McIlhenny family tradition. In one,
the six McIlhenny men who have taken on the company each generation are shown, with the
headline “Here on Avery Island, we don’t bother keeping up with the Joneses. It’s hard enough
keeping track of all the McIlhennys.”

Another shows two identical photographs of someone walking down a dirt road, one taken in 1925
and the other in 2009. The headline touts “Back in the day, we had to walk to work along a dirt
road. Come to think of it, we still do.” Three other print ads follow a similar theme, portraying the
brand as a familiar commodity that stands the test of time.

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Desired Positioning
After nearly 150 years of service, TABASCO® remains the most preferred pepper sauce in the
world in consumers, retail dollar and international sales. Its history and marketing genius have
made it an extremely recognizable and established brand in its product market.

Though previous advertisement campaigns have tapped successfully into its spicy flavor,
“Pepperfest” variety of products, and family tradition, CREATIVE MIND® would like to create a
campaign that transcends domestic borders and emphasizes the brand’s universal familiarity.

We would like to position TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce as a product that is loved and enjoyed
around the world. Its international recognition makes it a shared commodity that transcends
nationality, gender or ethnicity, and has historically been endorsed by diverse figures including
NASA astronauts, the United States Military, and even the Queen of England.

Positioning Statement
By positioning TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce as a product loved and
enjoyed around the world, we hope to gain loyal consumers who see the
sauce as a symbol of unity, familiarity and tradition.

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Campaign Objectives
• Establish TABASCO® as an universal product that transcends national borders by
demonstrating the diversity of nations and figures who enjoy it.
• Create a successful global campaign that communicates the same message in multiple
• Create a campaign that facilitates a deeper connection between the brand and TABASCO®

Target Market
TABASCO®‘s typical target market is men ages 25-55. This campaign taps into a
much larger market of consumers, attempting to reach grocery store and restaurant
patrons of all ages, genders and nationalities. Adults ages 18-55 will most likely fall into
this category.

TABASCO® consumers are primarily men and women ages 30-45. The loyal
TABASCO® customer is willing to put the sauce on virtually any food at any time of
day, and men tend to view it as a symbol of masculinity.

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Benefits and Appeals

• Stands as a universal symbol of hot sauce.
• Shared commodity around the world.
• Dominates the market with a 23.2% market share.
• Its four-year-fermenting process ensures unmatched quality.
• Continues to uphold the 150-year tradition of consistency.
• Found in houses and restaurants of all kinds around the world.

• The choice pepper sauce used by the United States Military.

• Given the Queen of England’s Seal of Approval.
• Featured on the NASA space shuttle’s official menu.

• Cholula Hot Sauce
• Louisiana Hot Sauce
• Crystal Hot Sauce
• Sriracha

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Frames of Reference
• It’s tradition.
• It’s familiar.
• It’s shared.
• It’s everyone’s.
• It’s reliable.
• It’s international.
• It’s flavorful.
• It’s a universal symbol.
• It’s timeless.
• It’s the sauce that never leaves the table.
• It’s the sauce that’s known everywhere.
• It’s the sauce that knows no borders or class.

Points of Difference
• TABASCO® is seen as a generic term for hot sauce.
• It is the most recognizable and preferred pepper sauce in the world.
• Its recipe has stayed consistent for over 150 years.
• Its history and tradition remain untouched by competitors.
• It remains family-owned through six generations.
• It has the largest co-branding market of any competitor.
• It is the only pepper sauce to claim the Royal Seal of Approval from the Queen.
• It was the only sauce imported to Europe during World War II.

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Big Idea

Good taste knows no boundaries.

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• Family difficulties
• Minor competition
• Mother nature and her effects on crops and production
• Factory isolation
• Difficulty reaching first time users as well as people who don’t enjoy spicy foods or sauces

Additional Key Factors

After speaking with McIlhenny family member Tracy Gibbs, it is clear
that TABASCO® is looking to target a niche market of younger
consumers ages 18-25.

By utilizing TABASCO®’s global reach and integrating humor into

TABASCO®‘s advertisements, our campaign will better
reach younger audiences than previous campaigns have
while also reaching an older audience as well.

It is also important to note that the campaign will aim

to reach countries beyond the United States in the
hopes of establishing TABASCO® brand Pepper
Sauce as an international symbol, a brand that “knows
no boundaries.”

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Impacts & Actions

This campaign will establish TABASCO® as a symbol unity, familiarity and tradition in the minds of
consumers. It will serve to position TABASCO® as a product that transcends common boundaries.
In doing so, the brand will gain loyal customers who form an even deeper connection with the
brand than already exists.

We will use the traditional TABASCO® logo
throughout our campaign for brand recognition purposes.
We will also use our campaign’s tagline— “Good taste knows no
boundaries”—in our print ads, outdoor marketing, TV
and radio spot.

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Our campaign will project a positive community image for TABASCO® brand products.
“Community,” in that the brand will be portrayed as a shared commodity among diverse figures,
nations and cultures. The campaign will portray the brand as being universal.

The tone of our campaign is light, yet sentimental. It offers mild humor through imagery but
touches on the comforting sentiment that the TABASCO® brand
represents unity, familiarity and tradition.

Look & Feel

We will use blue/grey color tones to evoke the
desired sentimental reactions to our ads. The desired
response is for audiences to feel warm, comforted, and
subsequently more attached to the TABASCO® brand
as a whole. The central images of the ads will differ
based on the figure being portrayed; however the ads
will maintain internal consistency through their
tagline, logo and layout.

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Print Advertisements

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Granted  the  Royal  Seal  of  Approval,

                       Tabasco®  has  proudly  served  as  Her  Majesty’s
         preferred  pepper  sauce  since  1868.

Good  taste  knows  no  boundaries.

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For  nearly  two  decades,

       product  of  the  NASA  space  menu.  

Good  taste  knows  no  boundaries.

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For  over  a  hundred  years,  

         Tabasco®  has  proudly  served  the  U.S.  armed
         forces  in  ready-­to-­eat  meals.

Good  taste  knows  no  boundaries.

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Outdoor Advertisement

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Direct Mail

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Direct Mail
Our direct mail piece is a small, red travel-size booklet. The cover will have a hollowed out
TABASCO® bottle, with the actual image on the very last page of the book. The book will
essentially serve as a manual to our “Good taste knows no boundaries” campaign. There will be
three thick pages in the book, each demonstrating the diverse ways in which TABASCO® brand
products transcend borders and nationality. On each page, the photographed figure will appear to
be holding the back page’s TABASCO® bottle.

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Page 1: The Queen of England

TABASCO® has long been a friend Great Britain. During World War II, the Queen Mother had her
staff search all of London for the sauce, which was in shortage because of wartime constraints.
When told there was no more TABASCO®, the Queen’s deputy comptroller said she took the news

In 1932, when the British government began an isolationist “Buy British” campaign, Parliament
banned the purchase of TABASCO®, popular in England since 1868 and available in the House of
Commons dining rooms. The resulting protest from members of Parliament was dubbed “The
TABASCO® Tempest,” and inevitably TABASCO® returned to parliamentary tables. It is said that
to this day, Queen Elizabeth uses TABASCO® pepper sauce on her lobster cocktail.

More recently, in April 2009, Queen Elizabeth esteemed TABASCO® brand pepper sauce worthy
of a Royal Warrant. Her Majesty’s seal of approval is a mark of outstanding excellence and fine
quality, and is only given to products served consistently at the Queen’s table.

Her Majesty’s approval represents one of many ways the taste and quality of TABASCO® brand
products transcend borders, boundaries and even the gates of royalty.

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Page 2: U.S. Armed Forces

During the Spanish-American War, John Avery McIlhenny, son of TABASCO®’s inventor and
second president of McIlhenny Company, served in the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment,
better known as Theodore Roosevelt's “Rough Riders.” His son, Brigadier General Walter Stauffer
McIlhenny presided over the McIlhenny Company from 1949 until his death in 1985. During the
Vietnam War, BGen. McIlhenny issued the The Charlie Ration Cookbook. This cookbook came
wrapped around a two-ounce bottle of TABASCO® sauce in a camouflaged, water-resistant
container. It included instructions on how to mix C-rations to make such tasty concoctions as
"Combat Canapés" or "Breast of Chicken under Bullets."

During the 1980s, the U.S. military began to include miniature bottles of TABASCO® sauce in its
MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat). Eventually, miniature bottles of TABASCO® sauce were included in
two-thirds of all MRE menus. These same miniature bottles are also included in vegetarian British

Most recently, U.S. troops in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and in Iraq during
Operation Iraqi Freedom have received TABASCO® sauce in their MREs, as well as in care
packages sent directly to individual troops courtesy of McIlhenny Company.

McIlhenny Company's relationship with the military extends beyond combat situations. The U.S.
Navy and U.S. Marine Corps list over 400 mess halls that offer TABASCO® sauce on their tables
including every Officer's Mess in the Marine Corps.

TABASCO®’s long-standing relationship with militaries around the world reinforce that the sauce’s
taste and quality transcend borders, boundaries and even walls of combat.

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Page 3: NASA Space Program

TABASCO® brand products have taken its customers out of this world—literally.

When NASA astronauts complained of bland rations in the space program, TABASCO® was the

Since then, our bottles have been a staple of the NASA space shuttle menu and have orbited the
earth on dozens of missions. The sauce can also be found on the International Space Station.

TABASCO®’s space travels are one of the many ways our sauce’s taste and quality transcend
borders, boundaries and even our very atmosphere.

Page 4: “A Universal Symbol of Quality since 1868”

TABASCO® brand products are not representative of one ethnicity, nationality or culture. They are
used by figures as significant as royalty, as brave as soldiers and as defiant as astronauts. That’s
why our pepper sauce has been a universal symbol of quality since 1868.

Good taste knows no boundaries.

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TV Spot

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1. Shot of space shuttle in outer space.

2. Camera zooms into the window to show what is going on inside.

3. Music changes to “party.” Three astronauts are laughing and having a good time. They are
letting drops of TABASCO® float around in no gravity and eating it.

4. All astronauts are taking turns trying to get TABASCO® in their mouths with other food. They
are complimenting each other. Ex: “Nice Form!” and high fiving each other.

5. Shot of bottle of TABASCO® on a simple table and narrator says, “TABASCO®. Good Taste
Knows No Boundaries.”

6. Astronaut 2 notices they have run out of TABASCO®, looks at Astronaut 1 and shakes the
empty bottle at him.

7. Astronaut 2 says, “Uhhhhh guys.”

8. Close up on astronaut 1 saying frantically, “Houston, we have a problem!”

9. Commercial ends with black screen.

SFX: White noise with random beeps in first shot.

SFX: Song “Great Balls of Fire “ while astronauts are in shuttle with TABASCO®. Starts in shot 3,
ends in 7. Loud enough to hear, but not drowning.

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Radio Spot

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Cue SFX: British sounding music “Rule Britannia….”

Queen of England: “Alfred! Alfreeed!”

Cue SFX: Little ringing bell.

Cue SFX: Footsteps getting closer

Alfred (The Queen’s Butler): “Yes, your majesty Queen Elizabeth? How can I be of service to

Queen of England: “Oh dear Alfred! I’m out of my TABASCO® again!”

Alfred: “But madam, you’ve been through four bottles in the last week!”

Queen of England: “ You know I can’t eat anything without it! That is why I gave it the Royal Seal
of Approval.”

Alfred: “Of course your majesty. I will get more right away. 10 more bottles perhaps?”

Queen of England: “Make it 20 Alfred!”

Narrator: “TABASCO®. A universal symbol of quality since 1868. Good taste knows no

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Guerilla Marketing

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Guerilla Marketing
In order to reinforce our “Good taste knows no boundaries” campaign, our guerilla marketing will
consist of having a TABASCO® bottle blimp. The blimp would be the traditional bottle, placed
horizontally, with our tagline “Good taste knows no boundaries” in white text across the bottom.
The floating bottle would be an effective, and literal, way reinforce the campaign’s tagline.

The blimp could fly in major urban areas or at particular events such as outdoor concerts or major
sports arenas in which TABASCO® is a sponsor.

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