A new commercial featuring the loquacious container began airing Monday and is scheduled to run nationally on both daytime and cable television, as well as online.
In addition to its 1973 debut, the tub has previously been used in campaigns featuring Laurel and Hardy (1982), Deacon Jones (1983), William Daniels (1990-91), Crystal Bernard (1997) and Al Franken (1999).
The campaign promotes a new formulation of the ConAgra brand that includes nonfat milk to enhance creaminess and texture. The new product is the only one in the margarine/table spread category that currently includes milk. Nonfat milk was used "specifically to avoid any fat in the finished product," although the marketing is more focused on milk as an ingredient than the fact that it's nonfat milk, according to ConAgra spokesperson Jeff Mochal.
Parkay continues to play off of its longtime brand message: "The label says Parkay, the flavor says butter." The new 15-second commercial features a dairy farmer being startled by an unusual moo coming from the Parkay Talking Tub in one of the stalls of his barn. The tub tells the farmer that the new Parkay is "better." The farmer responds: "You mean 'butter,'" to which the tub responds: "Parkay." A voiceover explains that the new product contains milk "for a fresh and creamy taste."
ConAgra VP, general manager Karl Sears described the talking tub as "iconic" and "the perfect ambassador" to tout the enhanced Parkay.
The last talking tub campaign, in 2002, focused primarily on in-store promotions--which used technology that enabled the tub's voice to call out at shoppers as they passed the dairy case.