Banquet Sends ‘Mixed’ Message

Despite the improving economy, the value message remains an important marketing tactic for food companies. Example: ConAgra Foods, which has launched a new campaign for its Banquet brand. Ads make an emotional connection with moms, but the underlying message is value.

Print, radio and in-store ads aim to get the point across by depicting everyday situations encountered by moms. One ad shows two sisters sharing a Banquet pie. “End sibling rivalry. At least for the next five minutes,” the copy states. It also emphasizes the product’s affordability and convenience: Banquet pies are “ready in four minutes” and cost “about a buck.”

The campaign, which runs across national print titles like People, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal and Woman’s Day, targets value-minded consumers. The tagline, “So good for so little,” further underlines Banquet’s affordability, said ConAgra rep Shelby Stoolman.

“[It’s for moms] looking for comforting, filling foods that are quick and easy, while still being affordable and dependable,” Stoolman said.

Agencies Element 79, Mediacom, Ketchum, GW Hoffman and RPM Connect worked with ConAgra on the launch.

ConAgra’s spending on Banquet has fluctuated over the years. Three years ago, the company spent $4.4 million advertising the brand and $6.4 million in 2008. Last year, however, that figure dropped to $100,000, and through July 2010, it reached $1.4 million, excluding online, per Nielsen.

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