Family Fare Follows ‘Foster Imposters’

SAN FRANCISCO WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam here breaks a campaign today for Foster Farms that focuses on premium chicken for family dinners, a turnaround from the previous 10-years of advertising from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

The new branding campaign uses “We Foster pure honest to goodness” as a tagline. The television spots feature a dinner plate and silverware setting framing the action, with all the family interaction taking place within the circle of the dish.

“It seemed like such a simple idea, we were surprised no one used it before,” said Scott Larson, co-ecd of Y&R San Francisco.

The “We Foster” television, radio, Internet and point-of-sale campaign breaks in five Western states.

Ad spending was not available. Foster Farms spent $8.7 million on advertising in 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The spots, with titles such as “Trusting Family” and “No Leftovers,” have an emotional tone, showing families enjoying dinner together, as well as several shots of the prepared chicken. “Trusting Family” shows people around a large table eating Foster Farms chicken, with a voiceover that explains the company has been a family-owned business since 1939.

“Our new campaign is truly a reflection of who we are,” said Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster, in a statement. “It’s built around our core values, how we do business and what’s important to today’s consumers. We’ve always prided ourselves on the quality of our products, whether we’re talking about our fresh, natural chicken or any of our other poultry products.”

Long gone are the “Foster Imposters,” talking chicken puppets that tried in vain to pretend that they were hormone-free, California-grown Foster Farms birds. The “Imposters” campaign from Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco showed the hapless, substandard chickens in various situations being called out on their fraud, by police, doctors and even in their yoga class.

Foster Farms wanted to go in a new direction when they chose Y&R after a review in October, Larson said.

“Foster Farms has done some well-known advertising over the last decade with the ‘Foster Imposters.’ However, this proud company with the highest of standards was being represented by what they are not: a couple of freezer-burned, toxic chickens,” Larson said.

The company’s Web site,, has also been redesigned, using a dinner plate as a unifying graphic.

Foster Farms is based in Livingston, Calif. Sales have been up during the past several years, with totals of $1.12 billion in 2000 to $1.52 billion in 2003, the last year for which figures were available, per Hoover’s Online.