TBWA\Melbourne partners with On The Menu to melt freezer shame

15 May 2024

Creative Agency: TBWA (VIC)

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"There's a stereotype that if you eat frozen meals, you’re lazy or a loner. In reality, you’re anything but."

Frozen ready-meal brand On The Menu has unveiled a reinvigorated brand strategy and national campaign.

The work, harnessing TBWA’s Disruption methodology to architect a new vision for the brand, sets out to redefine the category by fighting against misconceptions of frozen food.

On The Menu, part of Patties Food Group, has graced the freezer aisle for 15 years with its portfolio of ready-to-eat meals. Despite being one of Australia’s biggest players, the brand and category continues to battle with the convention of freezer shame.

TBWA\Melbourne planning director Zac Martin said Australians can be judgmental.

"Especially about what people eat. There is a stereotype that if you eat frozen meals, you’re lazy or a loner. In reality, you’re anything but," he said.

According to YouGov, frozen meal eaters are 40% more likely to exercise four times a week and are far from lonely with 61% being in a relationship.

The new platform ‘Blame It On The Menu’ is brought to life through a series of tongue-in-cheek executions. One of three playful 30” spots unfold in the dentist chair.

With the dentist MIA, the patient is left mouth agape thanks to a bite block. Fast forward, and we find the dentist located in the staff kitchen engrossed in devouring a crispy chicken parma without a single hint of remorse.

Patties Food Group chief marketing & growth officer Anand Surujpal said to grow On The Menu, the company needed to appeal to existing and new buyers to purchase pre-prepared meals and enjoy without feeling judged.

"The new platform marks an exciting new chapter for not only On The Menu but the freezer category as a whole," said Surujpal.

TBWA\Melbourne CCO Paul Reardon said the agency was after a storytelling approach with a dead simple structure.

"The product at its core, and a great tone of voice. This new platform offers us that. And! It’s really fun to write for. That’s a good sign for longevity. We’re looking forward to doing a lot more of OTM’s stories," he said.

The media strategy, which was delivered by United - part of the integrated full-service agency, sees the campaign running across broadcast TV, BVOD, YouTube, social, radio and OOH.



Agency: TBWA\Melbourne

Paul Reardon Chief Creative Officer

Pat Sofra Head of Art & Design

Mark Jones Senior Creative

Rob Hibbert Senior Creative

Virginia Pracht Co Head of Planning

Zac Martin Planning Director

Kimberlee Wells Chief Executive Officer

Ricci Meldrum Managing Director

Amy McKay Senior Business Director

Kate Steven Project Director

Melina Flood Senior Producer

Tony McKay Precision Marketing & Media Lead, United

Evelyn Hamlett Planning & Investment Director, United


Client: Patties Food Group

Anand Surujpal, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer

Debra Barrow, Head of Marketing – Pre-prepared Meals

Pierre Meneaud, Head of Digital

Rachael Kirby, Head of Insights


Production Company: Hooves

Director: Jason Perini

Post Production: Crayon

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