Duncan Hines Expresses Itself

Bozell likens baking to creating a work of art in its first campaign for Duncan Hines since the shop was handed the account a year ago.

Three full-page print executions each feature a woman wearing her baked-goods creation. In one, the woman sports a decadent choc olate cake as a hat; another features a girl garnished with decorated sugar cookies. The tagline is, “Create your own.”

The budget for the effort is estimated at $8-10 million, sources said.

“When someone bakes, it’s like creating art. They are putting some thing of themselves into it—their own personality,” said Tony Granger, ecd at Bozell in New York. “When you wear a hat, it’s expressing something of yourself.”

The campaign aims to reinvigorate the brand while differentiating it from its main competitors, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury. “Ideally, we want the consumer to see Duncan Hines in a new, modern, up-to-date way,” said Michael Hojnacki, vice president, general manager of baking at Aurora Foods, Duncan Hines’ parent company.

Bozell sought to achieve this goal by ex tolling premium quality and moistness—attributes long associated with Duncan Hines—in a unique way. “You still have the product. You still have the mouthwatering shot,” said Granger. “But it breaks out of the category. You don’t have a mother sitting in the kitchen.”

The last campaign for the brand was created in 1999 by its former agency, Ogilvy & Mather in Chi cago, and focused on a mother and her kids baking together—traditional imagery for the category, said Hojnacki.

The new ads break in February books such as Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping and Ladies’ Home Journal. They target 25- to 45-year-old mothers with children at home and younger women who are starting to bake, said Betsy Liegey, group brand planning director at Bozell.

Spending for Duncan Hines had declined during the last three years. According to CMR, the St. Louis-based client spent slightly more than $5 million in measured media in 1999, less than $1 million in 2000 and nothing in 2001.

Hojnacki attributed the decline to the company’s focus on establishing the sales organization, manufacturing facilities and pack aging to support the brand after Aurora Foods purchased it from Procter & Gamble in January 1998.