Campbell Puts V8 Brand On a New Course: Soup

Campbell Soup execs have apparently had a head-smacking epiphany: We could have a V8 soup line!

So now, after more than 50 years of keeping the V8 line in beverages, Campbell’s is bringing V8 to the soup aisle. The line actually is a new iteration of Campbell’s Select Gold soup line, which launched in 2005 and promised consumers restaurant-quality taste.

Company research, however, revealed that the message didn’t resonate with consumers. So the new V8 line will instead play up the vegetable-per-serving factor.

TV ads breaking in September harp on the theme. One 30-second spot shows a piece of broccoli morphing into the new soup. Voiceover: “Wait till you see how we’ve taken veggies and served them up in a new way.”

Print ads will appear in October issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Woman’s Day and Cooking Light. Agency Young & Rubicam, New York, handles.

All of the flavors, which include golden butternut squash, garden broccoli and sweet red pepper, come in green aseptic packaging.

The decision to deviate from Campbell’s iconic can could be a smart one, said Peter Murane, CEO of Brandjuice, a global brand strategy and innovation firm in Denver. “Green connotes health, freshness. It’s the color of produce,” he said.

“We are introducing V8 soups with a campaign that highlights the consistent celebration of simple, delicious and rich vegetable taste,” said Kelly Berrie, business director for V8 soups, which retail at $2.99.

This isn’t the first time Campbell has brought V8 into a new category. In 1997, the company introduced V8 Splash, a fruit juice line that hit $100 million in sales in the first year. Berrie did not disclose spending for the campaign. Campbell Soup spent $525 million advertising its family of brands last year and $235 million through May 2008, excluding online, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

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