Snack on this: Campbell offers the best of both worlds

The brand has a new health-focused chip on shelves, and is promoting it in stores and in malls with displays and experiential sampling.

Boasting a 1.5% share of the snack category and 90% distribution in stores across Canada since its launch in the fall, Campbell’s new Pepperidge Farm Cracker Chips is just another building block in the brand’s plan to become “one of the most innovative food companies by 2015,” says Mark Childs, VP of marketing, Campbell Company of Canada.

The product innovation is exhibited in Cracker Chips’ appeal to both male and female snackers, says Childs. “Guys typically chow down on snacks with absolute abandon. We eat and enjoy the whole bag, and don’t think anything of it,” he explains. “Our other halves are much more diligent in their selection of snacks, and look for better-for-you snacks even if that means trading out on the enjoyment.”

To drive trial, the brand is currently conducting experiential sampling events (with the help of Boom! Marketing) in malls and at holiday events where couples tend to spend their time together, says Childs. For example, Campbell will be present at the Holiday Magic festival in Toronto to tempt attendees with tasters of the new product. “The idea is that we are looking for venues where men and women will sometimes give up their own desires and wishes to join their partners,” he notes. “Our hope is that we can find those individuals and celebrate, in the aspect of snacking, that they don’t have to compromise.”

Since the product first appeared on shelves in August, Campbell has dressed shop aisles with in-store display to drive impulse purchases, says Childs, noting that the brand is still in the early throes of the product launch and currently in talks with retailers to partner on co-promotional activities to augment the existing in-store activity.

Because Campbell’s creative agency partner BBDO currently works with Frito-Lay on its chip business, the brand opted to take an unconventional route when sourcing creative for a launch TV spot, giving the brief to a young filmmaker’s competition in Chicago held by Mofilm.

The crowd-sourcing company conducts several contests each year in different parts of the world and one of its goals is to connect brands with a community of 50,000 amateur filmmakers in more than 140 countries. Campbell has collaborated with Mofilm since November 2011, having submitted three different briefs for entrants to create commercials for its soup, V8 and Cracker Chips products over the course of the year. Campbell hasn’t picked up any of the winning creative until now, says Childs, because consumer testing on previous entries didn’t score high enough to pursue further. The online testing via Ipsos showed impressive consumer engagement with the Silver-winning ad and “the interaction with the product was so compelling that the brandsell almost happened without there even being a brandsell,” he adds.

In the spot, a man is shown snacking on a packet of Cracker Chips he found in the cupboard. His significant other (who catches him mid-chow) is confused when he continues to eat, and enjoy, the healthy snack. “Essentially what this young filmmaker captured is the interaction men and women typically have with snacks,” he says. “It’s the snack you love to eat, but it’s also good for you.”

Taking into account that a quarter of Canadians speak French, the brand also worked with TVA, as well as the winning filmmaker, to develop a second spot which began airing on TV in Quebec two weeks after the English-language spot’s debut last month.

Campbell first entered Mofilm in order to stimulate creative ideas, says Childs, and the film achieved that by inspiring a whole roster of brand activities, such as the unique sampling activities which have brought the consumer insight to life. “I think, for me, this is an opportunity to embrace a new avenue of creative expression,” he adds of the benefits of using Mofilm. “This competition is allowing young filmmakers to bring to the marketplace, and the industry, fresh creative ideas and thinking…it’s a complement.”

English spot:

French spot: