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Alien Invasions and Rough Vacations in New Work for InnovAsian

Advertising Agency
San Francisco, USA
Duncan Channon launches humorous spots for the frozen Asian food brand

Duncan Channon has launched a new TV campaign for Chinese frozen food brand InnovAsian as it aims to increase its market share and challenge category leader P.F. Chang’s. 

With funny scenarios that are both relatable (a bachelor party hangover) and outlandish (an alien invasion), the TV campaign has fun with the idea that there are countless occasions where getting your Asian food fix in minutes is the ultimate comfort. At a time when frozen food sales are growing, four TV spots use humour and rhymes that play with the catchphrase 'InnovAsian occasion' to help consumers remember the brand when they are in the grocery freezer aisle. 

“We’re big fans of advertising that, you know, helps sell our client’s products. So the idea behind this campaign is simple: let’s teach America the name InnovAsian so they remember and reach for it in the freezer aisle,” said John Kovacevich, executive creative director, Duncan Channon. 

InnovAsian’s largest marketing effort to-date comes at a time when Chinese food has become mainstream fare and demand for frozen food is growing. 76 percent of Americans eat Chinese food every month - and sales at Asian fast food restaurants in the U.S. have jumped 135 percent since 1999, according to Euromonitor. Frozen food sales grew 2.3 percent last year, outpacing total store and fresh growth, according to a new report from the American Frozen Food Institute and Food Marketing Institute.

While many frozen Asian food marketers tend to emphasise their bold, exotic flavors, InnovAsian and Duncan Channon are taking a different approach: using humour to reach a mass audience - including households in the Midwest and South. The spots will run nationally on TV stations in 20 markets and on social media. As part of the TV strategy, two 15-second spots will run during the same commercial break - separated by other marketers’ ads - to reinforce the rhyming message and drive recall.

“Our customers are living perfectly imperfect lives with stresses, joys, and surprises that make it convenient and comforting to have InnovAsian’s Chinese meals on hand in the freezer,” said Debbie McCurdy, VP of marketing and innovation, InnovAsian. “We’re excited about this opportunity to introduce our brand to new customers with the help of our new creative partner Duncan Channon and new TV campaign. It’s simple, fun and memorable.” 

'InnovAsian Occasion' is the first work by Duncan Channon since becoming InnovAsian’s agency of record (AOR) in a new business win for the agency. As part of a comprehensive effort to credibly challenge P.F. Chang’s, InnovAsian’s selection of an agency partner comes on the heels of a recent rebrand with new packaging and an expanded product line. 

“We loved how fun the ‘InnovAsian occasions’ were when we came up with it for the pitch. Our friends at InnovAsian loved 'em too and since then, we’ve written hundreds of these little scenarios and rhymes. We hope this first batch is the first of many,” added Kovacevich.

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