Kroger Serves up a Diverse, Delightful Dish


Magic Happens When We Bring New Traditions To The Table


Our final US Ad Of The Week is an animated holiday commercial from Kroger and adam&eveDDB which scores 5-Stars in Test Your Ad and perfectly illustrates so many of the effectiveness points we’ve been talking about all year. And it might just bring a happy tear to your eyes too.

At its heart, “Cuisine Exchange” is about a thing which really does unite every culture, faith and tradition: food. A couple decide to welcome exchange students into their home, and to make each new arrival feel at home they teach themselves to cook a recipe from that person’s culinary culture. Starting with making pozole for a Mexican girl, the couple find themselves travelling the world’s foodways, making Japanese, Italian and many other dishes.

Finally, with a refrigerator door full of photographic memories, the elderly couple settle down by themselves for a meal alone – except there’s a knock at the door, and all their old students have come to join them and share the love.

The ad is attractively animated, with a cute style that’s still careful to make sure every character feels individual and human, and with a poignant soundtrack from Ed Sheeran which brings out the peaks of negative emotion – sadness – in the couple’s story, before they triumphantly resolve back into joy.

“Cuisine Exchange” is full of elements which attract the ‘broad-beam’ attention of the brain’s right hemisphere, like that melodic soundtrack and the human ‘between-ness’ and non-verbal communication shown by the characters. Orlando Wood, in his groundbreaking books Look out and Lemon, has shown how these elements are also associated with higher-scoring ads and therefore greater potential for an ad to drive brand growth.

It’s part of what makes emotional, story-driven ads so effective in the holiday season – the feelings they spark help them stick in the memory long term and build positive mental associations, while the intensity of the ad and its strong branding help stimulate short-term sales spikes. (As well as its 5.0-Star Rating, “Cuisine Exchange” also achieves an Exceptional short-term Spike score, our predictor of sales impact).

The other thing that makes “Cuisine Exchange” special and effective is the diversity of people and cultures it shows on screen. In our Feeling Seen USA report, which we published recently, we explored the “Diversity Dividend” open to brands who do inclusive and diverse advertising well. We found that when brands made diverse ads, they tended to easily outperform the average score of ads made by that same brand. Diverse advertising unites us, and Kroger has realized that and put the idea front and center on screen. It’s a perfect Ad Of The Week to end a remarkable year in advertising and to let us wish a happy holidays to all our readers too.

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