Try It Naked

Generating Excitement In-Store


How do you break into the well-established $200M canned tuna category in Canada with a name that is relatively unknown? Smartly. Rio Mare is the number one tuna in Europe however in North America, the brand had very low awareness outside of Italian-Canadian communities. As a premium brand, standing apart in a category dominated by price brands and private label was the challenge. BTI was tasked with coming up with a big idea that would break through to consumers to justify the added cost for a commodity item, canned tuna, with a budget a fraction of the big players Clover Leaf and Oceans.


After BTI conducted quantitative research among Canadians, we learned 70% of tuna was consumed with mayonnaise. We then put our taste buds to test and compared Rio Mare with the other tuna in the category. The other tuna in the category needed mayonnaise to be mixed in to offset their fishy smell and taste, something consumers thought all tuna needed. Rio Mare on the other hand, tasted great on its own. This led to the ground breaking idea to challenge consumers to “Try it Naked”. Rio Mare tastes so good, you don’t need to cover it up.

To bring this concept come to life for shoppers, we used models that were “naked” beside sampling booths. Consumers could then try the Rio Mare difference for themselves, plus get an Instagramable moment with the models.


Immediately after launching the program with the grocery giant Loblaw, the response was overwhelming. Line-ups to taste the tuna and pose with the models stretched to over fifty people. More importantly, Loblaws doubled the number of pallets ordered for the promotion.

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