2018 Food Trend #7: Advertising

The Lempert Report: Advertising should inform and get people to buy—and should tell the truth, especially about our foods and nutrition.

For all 10 trends, watch the full video here.

Advertising should inform and get people to buy—and should tell the truth, especially about our foods and nutrition. Today, people want a connection with the foods they eat; they want to know where foods come from. And if we can use advertising to empower them to eat healthier, we have achieved success.

David Ogilvy wrote: “The creative process requires more than reason. Most original thinking isn't even verbal. It requires 'a groping experimentation with ideas, governed by intuitive hunches and inspired by the unconscious.' The majority of businessmen are incapable of original thinking because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Their imaginations are blocked.” 

The Muppets’ Cookie Monster has a new cooking show that is focused on food. He and his sidekick Gonger embark on journeys to show where food comes and source the ingredients. Anthony Bourdain for kids, if you will—a food segment which offers great promise in teaching our kids where our foods come from.

The ad rules have changed since David Ogilvy and Della Femina’s halcyon days. We now have our iPhones and social media. But most CPG and retail brands are not taking full advantage: Only 27% of brands engaged in storytelling last year, and most are ignoring Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The reality is that three times the amount of people trust word of mouth more than they do online ads.

Gherlin is the hunger hormone. It tells us when we are hungry. In the 2011 study Mind Over Milkshakes, researchers found that when people thought they were drinking shakes high in calories, their gherlin level dropped three times more than when they thought they were drinking a l0w-calorie shake with zero fat and no added sugars.

Another study found that when people ate the same food and the same size portion, but with different labels—one was labeled as a snack and the other was labeled as a meal—the people who had the snack version ate 50% more.

It’s how we communicate our food messages, especially when it comes to nutrition issues, that makes the difference. No-calorie sodas, sugar-free gum and gluten-free apples are all examples. What we believe matters in how much, and what we consume.

Social, social, social—video content is key and powerful, and the most engaging content on Facebook. Lucky for us, food is No. 1 by far. Also, Facebook Live is an important advertising tool to engage with. For Martha Stewart, it brought her relevancy to an entirely new consumer base. 

The biggest trend I expect to see in advertising in 2018 is built on the fervor we are seeing all around us, and it’s all about the truth. It started with amateur videos, some undercover, and now moves forward. And there will be more to come.


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