Betty Crocker Warm Delights Pitches Sweeter Message

General Mills is playing up the goodness of Betty Crocker Warm Delights in new TV spots, which mark the first campaign for the brand in more than a year.

The ads, via McCann Erickson, New York, broke this week and show three women longingly waiting for the dessert to warm up in the microwave. As Frances, Jane and Kathy—all shown in individual spots—eagerly await their treat, a voiceover coaxes: “There’s chocolate, and then there’s this. Warm Delights from Betty Crocker. So rich, so warm, it could make you melt.” The spots close with each of the women finally taking a bite. (See the spot here.)

Warm Delights’ return to TV reflects a shift in the brand’s message. Spots, which ran last year, focused on the convenience of Warm Delights, which are made by adding water and microwaving. DyShaun Muhammad, senior marketing manager for the General Mills baking division, said the current campaign is “centered on this idea of ‘chocolate to the warmth degree’”—a reference to the new tagline.

The campaign is especially relevant now, when money-conscious consumers can use a small treat. “Our consumer is generally not someone who bakes very often or at all. That’s why she’s turning to us as a single-serve, microwavable solution,” Muhammad said.

To emphasize the message, General Mills is also introducing new packaging for the products beginning next month. Both the mini and regular versions of Warm Delights will carry bolder, darker color schemes.

Television aside, Warm Delights is reaching out to consumers on social networks like Facebook, where the brand is giving out product samples and gift certificates. Additionally, General Mills is fueling buzz by posting a forum where consumers can “share [their] latest indulgence” and “admit to being a chocoholic.”

Ned Russell, managing director of Saatchi + Saatchi Wellness, a Publicis Groupe-owned company, said Warm Delights’ new brand campaign—and positioning—helps set it apart in the category, especially when compared to its previous message. “[Consumers are] living in a world where there is not so much good news as there used to be before. [And so] what they really want is the reward,” Russell said.

General Mills spent $4.5 million advertising Betty Crocker Warm Delights in 2009, and $200,000 through June of this year, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co.