Orville Takes Low Profile In Popcorn Ads

SAN FRANCISCO – Orville Redenbacher, the homespun spokesperson for ads promoting the popcorn bearing his name since 1975, has only a bit part in the new campaign that breaks from Ketchum here this week. The 85-year-old Redenbacher, his bow tie and grandfatherly image have been relegated to a cameo as the popcorn maker tries to put a younger face on the brand.
In the spot, a young man tries to woo a young woman, but she is only interested in her popcorn. As we hear the lyrics to the blues ballad that plays – ‘She’s my popcorn lover. And it’s all his fault’ – there’s a quick cut to a smiling Redenbacher.
‘We did a lot of research and found we could stand to make (the commercials) a little more hip, contemporary and fun,’ said Tom Freyer, Ketchum creative director.
David Aaker, professor of marketing strategy at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, said Ketchum has hit on a good solution to a common problem – how to ‘go young without alienating older people.’ The young couple can help win a younger audience, and the quick cut of Redenbacher is enough to keep the older franchise he’s built. ‘He’s a strong visual image like the Maytag Repairman,’ Aaker said.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)