Campbell’s Taps Mindy Kaling to Convince People That Canned Soup Can Be Healthy

A celebrity spokesperson "with a positive outlook" for Well Yes!

Campbell’s U.S. soups increased 52% during the quarter ending Aug. 2. Campbell Soup Company

Canned soup sales have benefited from more people eating their meals at home during the pandemic. The product’s reputation as a healthy source of nutrition, however, is another matter.

To challenge the perception that canned soup can’t be good for you, Campbell’s soup brand Well Yes!, which contains simple ingredients and no artificial additives, has teamed up with actor, comedian and writer Mindy Kaling for a new marketing push.

In a campaign from Leo Burnett Chicago titled “Eat bright,” Kaling explains that people can eat well without compromising on taste, employing lines such as “Cluck yeah,” “Bisque please” and “Basil tov.”

A handful of 15-second spots set to air on Instagram, online video and connected TV show raw vegetables, such as corn, tomatoes, carrots and butternut squash, on a variety of vibrant backgrounds.

“Mindy Kaling truly embodies the values that drive our brand: positivity, transparency and a brightness,” said Linda Lee, chief marketing officer of Campbell’s meals and beverages division. “Well Yes! targets people with a positive outlook on life, and Mindy is just that.”

Planning for the campaign began in January, prior to pandemic-led spike in demand for shelf-stable food that has boosted Campbell’s bottom line. In the U.S., for example, Campbell’s soup sales increased 52% during the quarter ending Aug. 2.

“We’ve noticed three stages of the pandemic,” explained Lee. “Consumers first stocked up, thinking it was a temporary situation. Then, an active choice to eat healthier with the realization that the pandemic would last longer. Followed by boredom and a need for inspiration.”

Lee noted that Well Yes! has been a “consumer go-to” through each of the aforementioned stages, as shoppers are changing their approach to wellness by shifting away from a narrow set of specialty foods.

She added, “People want the freedom to eat foods they enjoy.”

@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.