Pillsbury Baking

Pillsbury Baking boosts awareness and action with holiday video ads

Pillsbury Baking’s eye-catching creative was the sugar on top of their high-performing holiday campaign.

Split image with left side text “Pillsbury Baking boosts awareness and action with holiday video ads” on blue background and right side featuring a box of Devil’s Food cake mix posed next to 6 plated holiday tree-shaped treats.

Pillsbury Baking, along with the help of Poppin' Fresh (aka the Doughboy), has been helping people to simplify baking for over a century.

As bakers look for holiday inspiration, Pinterest has become the “cookbook” of the digital world. So, when Pillsbury Baking wanted to resonate further with home bakers, Pillsbury Baking’s media agency, Media Storm, suggested Pinterest as a natural channel to be in line with their media strategy and to meet seasonal bakers halfway.

The one thing the brand knew was that eye-catching video creative would be a key to the campaign’s success.


lift in action intent3


lift in Pin awareness3

The sweet smell of success

14m people on Pinterest search for baking ideas every month1—so it's no surprise that Pillsbury Baking took advantage of this unique demographic. The platform also reaches 72% of US moms, a key audience for Pillsbury’s marketing.2

People on Pinterest love to plan ahead. In fact, 2021 saw holiday search volumes grow at a higher rate and earlier in the season than in past years.3

That’s why it was crucial for Pillsbury Baking to get recipe-focused content out well before the holiday season by using interest and keyword targeting.

Standard static product shots of cake boxes and frosting tubs just wouldn’t cut it in this case, so the brand took a fresh approach that included investing heavily in video—nearly 90% of their budget—and leaning into native-style content.

Using a mix of standard and max-width video ads, Pillsbury stood out—literally—with how-tos featuring eye-popping red and green Grinch fudge and an amped-up pecan cobbler. The unexpected colors and flavor combinations were both attention-grabbing and simple for home bakers to recreate for themselves.

A blue ribbon prize

Video turned out to be the right format for Pillsbury Baking, driving both a 5pt lift in Pin awareness and 4.3pt lift in action intent.4

Now, Pillsbury Baking plans to drive further brand awareness and action intent by using videos on Pinterest for an upcoming campaign.

“Combining insight-driven recipes with video creative was the key to cutting through the holiday noise. Native-style videos with prominent logos, clear product placement and seasonally relevant recipes worked for us.”

— Kelly Hansen, 
Senior Marketing Director, Hometown Foods

Tips for your next campaign

Try these Pinterest best practices to get more out of your ads.

  1. People on Pinterest are planners, so make sure to run your seasonal campaigns in advance of the actual holiday to capture the attention of these valuable early birds.

  2. Use learnings from past brand studies to bolster your next campaign. Holiday 2020 insights helped inform Pillsbury Baking’s 2021 creative.

  3. Make sure your ad format suits your specific creative assets. For example, videos are great for instructional, how-to content.