By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

June 5, 2024 | 4 min read

The Croatian pasta brand not only brings a piece of Croatian tradition to the dinner table, but seeks to ensure that the melodies of Međimurska popevka will be sung and cherished for generations to come.

Marodi, a renowned pasta producer from Međimurje, Croatia, has launched a heartwarming campaign designed to preserve a cherished piece of Croatian heritage.

It’s called “Međimurska popevka,” a traditional folk song from the Međimurje region, which was inscribed on Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2018.

This enchanting genre of folksinging, long a cultural cornerstone in northern Croatia, now faces the challenge of remaining safeguarded under one crucial condition: it must continue to be performed. Marodi has taken this mission to heart, launching an initiative that marries the love of traditional music with a passion for pasta.

The campaign features a limited-edition collection of five folk songbooks, each accompanied by a special packet of Marodi alphabet pasta. Each packet contains the exact number of letters needed to spell out the lyrics of the respective folksong. The five featured songs include Ljubav se ne trži niti kupuje (You Can’t Sell or Buy Love), Dej mi, Bože, joči sokolove (God, Give Me the Eyes of a Falcon), Međimorje, kak si lepo zeleno (Međimurje, You Are So Beautifully Green), Vehni, vehni fijolica (Wilt, Wilt my Violet), and Klinčec stoji pod oblokom (Young Boy is Standing Beneath the Window).

The campaign’s hero spot, ‘A Soup to Remember,’ showcases a Croatian woman in traditional dress singing one of these historic songs. The ad beautifully transitions to scenes of people cooking the special alphabet pasta, culminating in a heartwarming moment where a new generation preserves the songs by singing them on social media. This intergenerational bridge highlights the importance of preserving cultural heritage in a rapidly changing world.

“We live in times of great changes, the pace of which is accelerating even faster, which is why the preservation of cultural heritage has never been more important,” said Antun Marodi, brand manager at Marodi Company. “Međimurska popevka is a paragon of Međimurje tradition. It has always been written and performed here to mark the small joys of life as well as those great moments in life. For that very reason, as a 30-year-old local pasta manufacturer, we want to be the custodian of the rich heritage of the Međimurje region.”

Founded in 1992 in the small town of Domašinec, Marodi has consistently prioritized quality and tradition. Adding to the initiative, Marodi collaborated with the Alliance of Croatian Cultural and Artistic Associations of Međimurje County to establish Međimurska Popevka Day. Celebrated annually on November 28, this day encourages various activities across educational institutions to promote folk songs, ensuring their preservation and continued status on Unesco’s list.

Nikola Žinić, co-chairman and chief creative officer at Bruketa&Žinić&Grey, the creative agency behind the campaign, summed up the project: “It is not a campaign about pasta, nor is it a campaign about singing songs. It is a campaign about belonging and about love: love of your family, friends and that small part of the world you consider yours.”

Although the Republic of Croatia was established in 1991, the Croats, a South Slavic people, have roots in the region dating back to the seventh century.

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