Following a successful rebuilding of its Spam processed meat brand through a revitalized marketing assault, Austin, Minn.-based Hormel plans to increase ad support for at least three other brands that have had inconsistent or little ad support in recent years.
In the works for 1994, according to Rick Bross, Hormel director of marketing/grocery products, is a plan to see what advertising can do to reignite Mary Kitchen Corned Beef Hash, with spot TV in seven test markets. Also in the works are new spot TV and national print campaign in test for Hormel Chili and a test campaign for Top Shelf shelf-stable microwave meals, a brand that Hormel has completely overhauled. Ad budgets have not yet been finalized, but any ad spending would be a boost for Mary Kitchen and Top Shelf, shut out last year. Hormel spent $2 million behind its chili brand last year; that could double.
The increases are a victory for Hormel agency BBDO Minneapolis and its work to restage Spam and reverse 12 years of sales declines. Bross said the Spam ad program convinced a number of Hormel senior managers that heavier marketing can help grow established brands in Hormel's stable.
'What has turned things around at Hormel is a belief by top management that advertising works and that's come from the Spam experience,' said Jon Firestone, BBDO president/ceo. 'It's an amazing position for the agency to be in because Hormel believes in brands, and that flies in the face of everything we're hearing today.'
Last July, BBDO broke an advertising campaign touting a new use for Spam: the 'Spamburger.' The campaign was designed to increase usage by current users and change perceptions of the brand. The effort worked, boosting sales an average of 9% by the end of last year.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)