Chunky looks to feed the time-starved millennial male

Amid slumping soup sales, Campbell gives its Chunky brand an advertising boost

Campbell is hoping to give Chunky soup sales a boost with its most recent advertising efforts by connecting with consumers who feel time-crunched, but eager to eat healthy and do even more with their lives.

The cornerstone of the marketing campaign is a TV commercial that shows a young man energized by a bowl of Chunky soup, then racing out to help some of his neighbours in need on a wintery day. The closing line for the ad is “Behold the souper you.”

Campbell had been “relatively dark” from a marketing and communications perspective for some time and “its popularity had been waning,” said Mieka Burns, senior brand manager, Campbell Canada. “The campaign is really trying to address that.”

The prelude to the campaign was deep market research that revealed a recurring theme, said Burns. “We spent a lot of time talking to consumers, and what we heard consistently is that they have more to give to the world,” she said. “But that ability to give of yourself to others—be it friend, family or community— really requires you to take care of yourself.”

However, they also feel time-starved and unable to get the nourishing food—the vegetables and healthy proteins—they know they should be eating. “They are resorting to food that provides fuel but don’t necessarily feel good about what they are putting into their bodies,” she said. From that insight, Campbell developed the Souper You campaign.

“Consumers told us that the abundance of good stuff, like the big pieces of seasoned meat, those big colourful nourishing vegetables that we are putting in each can was what they needed to do lots of good stuff out in the world.”

The tone and messaging is a real departure for the Chunky brand, which in the past had a “more masculine and rugged edge to the communications,” she said.

The target is the same—“a male around 30 years old is our bullseye,” she said—but consumers have changed. They are more interested in affecting positive changes around them.

Aside from the TV ad, which is also running online and in cinemas, five shorter six-second ads focus on three new line extensions, which launched in August.

In February, Campbell will also begin a contest that will give consumers a chance to win a John Deere riding lawnmower and snow blower. “It enables you to be the neighbour everyone wants to live beside,” explained Burns.

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