How A-1 Steak Sauce Rebranded with the most Creative Ad Campaign

A.1. Sauce (formerly known as A.1. Steak Sauce) – a product by Kraft Foods has been a pioneer in the world of sauces since 1831. The brand which marketed itself first as ‘A.1 Steak Sauce’ made a good name in the United Kingdom and was later introduced to North America. It is now also widely available across US and Canada.

Why Re-branding?

A.1. Steak Sauce – as the name reflects was widely used for steaks. But why restrict people to one type of food while it can be used for various other similar food types. Probably, it was a good idea to market it to specific target persona i.e steak lovers initially. But, by then the product was already a hit and measures needed to be taken to expand their reach.

In May 2014 keeping the modern dining habits in view the company realized the need to rebrand their sauce by removing the word ‘Steak’ and keep it as ‘A.1. Sauce’ instead. This gave them a better opportunity to market the sauce to a much broader audience and allowed it to be used for any type of food.

But as one would expect this was a bold move and could have gone either way. The planning, marketing, messaging and timing, all had to be perfect. The re-branding had to be reflected in their overall messaging which included their slogan. Everything they did had to link back to their marketing objective which was to encourage people to use the sauce not only for steaks but on almost everything.

The Launch!

It all started with this creative video showing A.1. Sauce get into a complicated relationship and later be friends again. This is a great example of how intelligent humor can be used to keep consumers engaged and also spread awareness. This campaign solidified an image in the minds of their consumers.

Here’s how A.1. Sauce has changed its slogans over time.

  • “Don’t cover it. Discover it, with A.1.” (1980s)
  • “Great Steak! Great fun! A.1.!” (1981)
  • “A.1. makes hamburgers taste like steakburgers.” (early 1980s)
  • “A.1.—How Steak is Done.” (1990s)
  • “A.1.—Yeah, it’s that important.” (early-mid-2000s)
  • “A.1.—Makes beef sing.” (current)
  • “A.1.—Makes Meat Loaf sing.” (2009)
  • “A.1.—For Almost Everything. Almost.” (2014)