TEST:BBDO Touts the Wonder of Stew

CHICAGO–BBDO Minneapolis introduces Dinty Moore stew to a younger audience by injecting irreverent humor into a new campaign for the Hormel brand.

The 67-year-old brand has been backed by minimal advertising over the past two years, said Mary Van Note, the agency’s director of strategy. But younger consumers who don’t cook often are looking for well-balanced meals that can be prepared quickly, she said.

“Consumers care about balanced meals. They’ve evolved back to the basics” Van Note said. “Dinty Moore is a great solution for people who don’t cook.”

In the commercial, two middle-aged parents tell their children they’ve decided to become rock-and-roll stars.

“This is kind of a nighttime job,” says the leather-clad father, who is quickly corrected by the pink-haired mother to use the correct terminology: “gig.”

The children are forced to make dinner for themselves.

Quick cuts over an electric-guitar soundtrack show them preparing stew in the microwave as the parents head out into the night.

“Since the stew is a well-balanced meal, we put it in the context of an unbalanced situation,” said Ross Phernetton, senior copywriter at the agency.

The ad is tagged, “An excellent choice.”

The spot’s humor is meant to give the brand an updated personality to stand out in a crowded category, Van Note said.

“There are lots of convenient meal solutions now,” she said.
“That has changed the landscape for Dinty Moore.”

The commercial will air during prime-time programming in cold-weather markets, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast. Spending on the campaign was not disclosed, but it will be an increase from past years. Hormel spent about $1 million on measured media in the last two years, according to CMR.