Campbell Debuts Last Prego Ad In Series At Popeye Picnic

Fresh from its platinum sponsorship of the annual Popeye Picnic in Chester, Ill., hard by the Mississippi River down in Arkansas, Prego Italian sauce is airing the latest iteration of its five-spot "seasoned" series--this one starring Olive Oyl.

In 15 seconds, the animated Oyl considers what should be added to the Prego sauce simmering on the stove--only to realize that it doesn't need anything because (drum roll, please) "It's In There."

Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. created the five spice-themed spot via Young & Rubicam, N.Y. earlier this year--rolling them three in the spring, featuring Spice Girl Emma Bunton, an average American couple named Herb and Rosemary and an Englishman named Basil. The fourth, featuring Olympian Lea Ann Parsley, debuted in the summer.

The Olive Oyl version was timed to coincide with the Sept. 8-9 Popeye Picnic, which attracts enthusiasts from all over the country. Popeye, Oyl, Brutus and Swee' Pea were inspired by Chesterites 70 years ago. Picnic attendees were invited to the "Poi-fek 'Prego' Pasta Party" featuring an Olive Oyl Look-a-Like Contest and the premiere of the TV spot.



"We loved the hometown feel of the Popeye Picnic, its place in Americana, and of course, its connection to Olive Oyl," says Mark Tumelty, associate brand manager for Prego. "Olive Oyl's vivacious, confident and genuine persona embodies the real-life Prego consumer."

In contrast to past Prego commercials that were all about bringing family together to enjoy a spaghetti dinner, the new spots target women 25-54 who want to save time and energy, but still do well by their families. The marketing mix also includes print, online and promotion.

Media includes TNT, USA, TBS, TLC, and HGTV on such programs as "The View" and "American Idol."

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Campbell spent $18 million on advertising for Prego in 2006. This year, it spent $16 million on Prego from January to June. Campbell reported that sales of Prego were in the double digits in the fourth quarter, which ended July 29, "driven by more effective advertising."

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