Hungry Man Effort Debuts

LOS ANGELES Publicis & Hal Riney today launches its first campaign for Hungry Man frozen dinners since winning the Pinnacle Foods account a year ago.

The agency shot four spots, two breaking this week, with the media orientation skewing decidedly male.

In one 30-second ad, “Men’s Room,” three hard-hat workers on a steamy construction site are sipping fruit smoothies and eating yogurt. When one says, “I think I’m going to the bathroom. Wanna go?” the other men follow. “I don’t really have to go, but I’ll keep you company,” says one. As a Hungry Man fried chicken dinner falls violently on a pink smoothie, crushing it, a voiceover says, “Sometimes a man loses his way. So make it Hungry Man. A full pound of meat and potatoes, so you can eat like a man.”

In “Napkin,” two men are eating salad while sitting on a couch watching football when one compliments the “tasty vinaigrette” and delicately wipes the excess dressing from his friend’s mouth, prompting a puzzled reaction. According to the voiceover: “You are what you eat, so make it Hungry Man.” A Salisbury steak dinner falls from above, crushing the salad.

“You’re selling gluttony, and if you can’t make that funny, you deserve to be shot,” joked ecd Roger Camp at the San Francisco shop. “The whole idea is conquering real-man hunger, and you know who the enemies are. Some foods are easy fodder as a foil to pivot off and make the point. In the emasculated world we live in, that seems like the obvious target.”

He added, “There is an inspirational blue-collared-ness to [the campaign]. You may eat a salad, but you’re not going to be proud of it.”

Camp is no stranger to “manly” ads, having previously helmed like-themed Miller High Life spots for Wieden + Kennedy.

Adam Koppel was the copywriter on “Napkin.” Mark Sweeney wrote “Men’s Room.” Rich North was the art director on both spots. David Verhoef is the agency’s director of integrated production.

Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Pinnacle spends about $5 million annually on ads for Hungry Man, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.