Del Monte's College Inn Gets Steamed Up

College Inn broth

Looking to make the most of America's return to the kitchen, Del Monte has rolled out its largest campaign to date for the College Inn broths brand.

The "Meals That Matter" campaign emphasizes how the broths can assist busy moms in making delicious but uncomplicated everyday meals, and how those meals demonstrate love and help to bond families.

All of the creative components show steam rising from a stockpot simmering on a stovetop or from dishes prepared with the broths. In the TV commercial, as a woman's voice describes the ingredients in the broth and the importance of meals to family togetherness, the steam rising out of the stockpot creates an image of each ingredient, the College Inn logo, and finally a heart.

The narrative: "Plump chicken, tender carrots and sweet onions ... just the right herbs and spices ... the highest-quality ingredients make for a great broth. A great broth brings out the best in your dishes. And your dishes get the whole family together to share and connect. College Inn broth. Your recipe for goodness."



"Our previous campaign took a more traditional, holiday approach that focused on our brand heritage dating back to 1923," College Inn brand manager Ralph San Martin tells Marketing Daily. "The new 'Steam' campaign is grounded in College Inn's message of highest-quality ingredients that enable families to create everyday meals that matter."

"The idea is to make College Inn more relevant to today's busy moms, to demonstrate its everyday versatility and so increase daily consumption," adds Bronson Smith, co-creative director at the brand's agency, Pittsburgh-based independent Smith Brothers. By connecting the brand to family values, the advertising differentiates College Inn as a broth that "creates meals that encourage the entire family to slow down and spend some time together," he says.

The steam effect was designed to make the viewer have an almost visceral sense of the stock's "inviting, warm feeling and smell, and so make a somewhat uninteresting category sexy," says Smith. And it seems to be delivering: During creative testing, this spot drew an Ipsos ASI score ranking among the top 5% of all 40,000 commercials that have been tested by ASI, he reports.

The campaign is also the brand's most integrated effort. College Inn has traditionally focused mainly on TV. This time, there are regional cable and network TV buys and radio spots in the Northeast, Great Lakes and Florida and in-store promotions, but also print and online. Print ads are appearing in Sunday newspaper magazine supplements, and online efforts include a revamped Web site, a Facebook page and a presence on Foodbuzz. (Twitter efforts are still in development.)

The site (, which formerly emphasized product information and relatively complex recipes, now offers a wealth of everyday lunch and dinner recipes -- most of which include seven or fewer ingredients, notes Smith Brothers account director Zack Grove. In addition, the site offers a recipe-sharing area that also encourages consumers to post photos of the dishes they cooked. This social tool is being promoted within various communications to customers and prospects.

To drive traffic to the site, College Inn also has partnered with All-Clad on a special promotion for the holiday season. Through the end of the year, customers can register online to be eligible for chances to win an eight-piece set of the cookware. "The high-end cookware brand and our quality message are a strong mesh," says Grove.

The executives declined to reveal the campaign's budget, but confirmed that Del Monte is providing "substantial" support.

Next story loading loading..