Spark, DDB Help ConAgra Relaunch Banquet

ConAgra Foods recently reintroduced its iconic Banquet frozen food brand with a variety of improvements, including adding 25% more food, offering better protein and ingredients, developing a new logo and packaging, as well as setting higher prices. 

Now, ConAgra and its agencies Spark and DDB California are bringing Banquet back to TV for the first time since 2009 with the heaviest national advertising blitz in the brand's history. 

“The new Banquet campaign is about celebrating the hard work and passion of American families and Banquet’s commitment to improving our meals with more food and better quality ingredients to give American families our best,” says Michael Bukzin, account director, DDB California. “Each commercial tells different stories of families celebrating the little victories of everyday American life and how the warm, wholesome meals that Banquet provides are always there for them.”



The ads convey Banquet’s new value proposition, particularly how consumers are getting more for their money. “Banquet meals have generally been priced at about $1 since it started in the 1950s,” says Kate Briganti, director of advertising, ConAgra Foods. “We knew we needed to increase prices based on higher food and commodity costs since that time, but wanted to be able to give our budget-conscious consumers a reason for that increase.”

One of the initiative’s more high-profile TV partnerships is with CBS' The Talk. During today’s episode, one audience member is receiving a cash gift courtesy of Banquet. The individual was selected by staffers at The Talk after having fit the criteria set by ConAgra to find a hard-working person devoted to her family and needing financial assistance. 

“We chose to partner with The Talk to drive brand relevancy by aligning with one of our target’s favorite daytime programs,” says John Muszynski, chief investment officer, Spark. “This partnership not only allowed us to organically weave the Banquet story into a genuinely fun lifestyle environment. It also allowed for the opportunity to give back to the community.”

The campaign’s biggest obstacle may be growing consumer preference for fresh foods. “The key challenge for Banquet and many frozen brands is that consumers are moving away from frozen to fresher, less processed convenient foods that are also perceived to provide strong value,” says Bukzin. “With our Brand Re-stage, we needed to demonstrate to our consumer that our product improvements give her more for her hard-earned dollar with better quality ingredients and more food.”

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