Movies and popcorn go together like, well, movies and popcorn.
In the latest entry for the "How come no one's ever thought of this?" files, Diamond Foods is introducing an integrated advertising campaign for its recently acquired Pop Secret brand that links popcorn and movies, and the enjoyment of both at home.
"With the economy being down, a lot of people are staying at home and renting movies and popping popcorn because popcorn is a relatively inexpensive snack," Linda Segre, senior vice president of corporate and strategic communications for the company, tells Marketing Daily. "The category had been declining up until a year ago, and it's really been growing again."
The first television spot, which begins airing on Dec. 17, introduces animated popcorn characters, the Kernels, who happen to be movie lovers. In the commercial, grandmother and grandson kernels try to top each other's imitations of Batman's voice.
The idea came as Diamond Foods and its agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, researched the way people watch movies at home. "What we found ... is that there's two different ways to watch a movie," Segre says. The first is while multitasking and doing other things; the second involves popcorn. "When you have popcorn and you're all sharing popcorn, it makes you commit to the movie."
Other spots in the campaign will include dialogue and scenes from films such as "Caddyshack" and "When Harry Met Sally." Diamond entered into a partnership with Warner Brothers Studios to secure the dialogue from those films, Segre says.
"We wanted to pick some films that were classic and would be timeless," Segre says. "We had to get the rights to use the scenes and the lines."
The television ads -- which will air in 15- and 30-second versions -- will run more than 600 times on broadcast and cable outlets in the coming weeks, a time period the company considers key because of holiday together time. (Although Diamond Foods has also secured a spot on the Super Bowl for a Pop Secret ad, Segre says the creative for that spot will be a bit of a departure from the campaign being launched this week. She declined to divulge details, however.)
In addition, Pop Secret will be the presenting sponsor of the "DVD on TV" show, in which hosts Dave Holmes and Jennifer Lothrop offer extra facts about movies being rebroadcast on the cable network (like the extras found on DVDs). Pop Secret will also sponsor the "USA Holiday Character Feast" on the USA Network, two days of movie rebroadcasts on Dec. 24 and 25 and the "Aniston the Unleashed" movie marathon on Lifetime on New Year's Day.
Online, Diamond Foods has redesigned www.popsecret.com, where the Kernels' stories will continue with regularly updated content celebrating the home movie experience.
"We're going to be adding functionality over time as things take off," Segre says. "We're hoping to get some functionality where there's a movie search function and help you pick a movie."
Diamond Foods acquired the Pop Secret brand from General Mills in September 2008, but the company did not fully take over the brand until February 2009 as it transitioned the business, Segre says.