Aunt Jemima Brand Flips Into Television

Successful Web push spills over to national networks in nine markets

A successful social media push for Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast has inspired a traditional TV ad, the brand’s first in five years.

The online effort—the first of its kind for Aunt Jemima—revolves around a Facebook page, where consumers can download coupons, access recipes, post photos, and watch a video about the making of Aunt Jemima pancakes. Featured in the video are employees of parent company Pinnacle Foods, who also star in the TV spot, which broke yesterday. In fact, footage shot for online has been repurposed for TV, thereby slashing the cost of production.

Since launching in February, the Facebook page has attracted more than 96,000 fans and generated some 100,000 video views—modest numbers compared to top Internet efforts but big for the brand, given that it started from scratch. Also, Aunt Jemima’s broader campaign, which also included Twitter parties, banner ads, and a blogger breakfast, produced 4.5 million media impressions in just four months.

TV wasn’t part of the original plan. The online results convinced Pinnacle to step out onto a bigger stage, says Brandi Unchester, a senior brand manager. The spot will run on national networks in nine markets.