TV spots via Young & Rubicam, NY show a chef rescuing people from boring, flavorless food by filling their empty bowls with tasty soups as a voiceover intones: "Lower-sodium stuff put you in the land of bland? Try flavorful new soups with lower sodium, all-natural sea salt from Campbell's."
"Our research shows consumers were disappointed with the choices they had been presented with in healthier foods," says Tracy Brala, Campbell's senior brand manager on wellness soups. "We recognized that as people get older, they start taking better care, but they're not willing to make the trade-off for taste. Lower-sodium, all-natural sea salt enables consumers to believe Campbell can make a lower-sodium soup that takes great."
By using sea salt, Campbell has lowered sodium levels by at least 25 percent in one-third of its soups in the United States.
Campbell is the world's largest soup company, with soup accounting for nearly half of the company's annual $7.5 billion in sales. The new or reformulated soup lineup includes:
--additional versions of its three top-selling soups in the famous red-and-white can--Campbell's Chicken Noodle, Campbell's Tomato, and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soups, which now have 25 percent less sodium;
--twelve condensed soups that have special kid-appeal, including Campbell's Double Noodle and Campbell's Chicken and Stars, now with 25 percent less sodium;
--three Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request and three Campbell's Select Healthy Request ready-to-serve soup varieties, with up to 45 percent less sodium than regular varieties;
--the Campbell's Healthy Request line of reduced sodium soups, which contain, on average, 45 percent less sodium than regular varieties.
There also is one new addition to the current line of nine condensed soups: Campbell's Healthy Request Homestyle Chicken Noodle soup.
TV spots end with a voiceover saying: "It's soup...that is good." Print ads use the phrase "Lower Sodi-yummm." According to Brala, TV spots are running across all dayparts, with a heavy presence in daytime, prime time, and evening news programming in an attempt to reach women 35-plus. Spending on the new campaign was not released, but Campbell increased advertising support of all its Campbell's brands in 2005 to $183.39 million--a 21 percent increase, according to LNA.
Brala is optimistic that the company's in-store "gravity feed system" dispensing cans of soup through a merchandising device will reduce head-scratching in the soup aisle.
"After coffee and cola, the soup aisle is the most confusing in the grocery store," she says. "The gravity-feed system has done a great job for us in helping to organize the consumer's experience." The in-store merchandising mechanism, which is similar to a lipstick-dispensing device, soon will include microwaveable soups as well as traditional cans. It also will be rolled out in convenience stores.