New Hormel Campaign Beefs Up Portfolio Strength


For the first time in its 119-year history, Hormel Foods is running an ad campaign spotlighting its whole Hormel-branded portfolio, an attempt to get consumers to consider the brand's breadth of offerings.

The effort, which carries the tagline, "Life Better Served," is aimed at consumers who may buy one or two Hormel-branded products all the time, but aren't aware of other foods that are part of that line.

In its research, for instance, the maker of Jennie-O and Dinty Moore beef stews found that once consumers were reminded of these options, they saw Hormel as a way to answer "their daily question of, 'What should I serve myself and my family?'" said Scott Weisenbeck, group product manager for integrating marketing and planning at Hormel.

"We call it, 'pulling the blanket off the brand,'" quipped BBDO executive creative director Brian Kroening, adding that, consumers saw "that there were more parts to the brand than they had in their homes." The Omnicom agency's Minneapolis office created the campaign.

The Hormel brand has more than $2 billion in retail sales. (Its products reach some 74 million U.S. households, or a 62.8 percent household penetration, per Weisenbeck.) Though it's repositioned and introduced new products, such as Hormel Compleats, in recent years, its top-selling foods are still its chili, pepperoni and black label bacon products.

Hence, television and print ads breaking this month which introduce consumers to the variety of meal options sold under the Hormel brand. An ad showing three child violinists playing on stage, for instance, asks, "What's my go-to-option for a family on-the-go?" Opposite it, in dinner plate-shaped dialogue bubbles, are three foods: Hormel Compleats, beef roast and its eponymous chili product.

Other ads highlight a single brand product. An advertisement for its Natural Choice deli meats, for instance, asks, "How can I preserve lunchtime without any preservatives?"

Hormel, which spent $49 million advertising its company-branded products through the first 11 months of 2009 (excluding online, per Nielsen), is also running TV spots during NBC's broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympic games and the Academy and Emmy Awards. The TV spots position Hormel's products as a mess-free, quick, convenient and nutritious meal option.

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