Campbell’s recently launched a new line of gourmet “Go” soups meant to target oh-so-coveted Millennials. These new soups come in pouches, not cans, and are aimed at offering hip, young consumers more diverse flavors like Madras Curry Lentils and Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas. To promote these soups, Campbell’s is ditching traditional media for digital channels like Facebook, Spotify and a custom Tumblr-esque website designed to engage consumers with quirky humor.
So far, efforts seem to be paying off. Sales are up 8% year over year and its Facebook page has more than 143,000 likes. So why then, as a Millennial, am I so annoyed by these new soups? Perhaps its because Campbell’s seems to be reading off a creative brief that pigeon holes all Millennials as the same: “They go through life hunting out and gathering different experiences,” says Charles Vila, vice president of consumer insights. “They sample foods in the same way they sample jobs.” [These soups are] meant to convey freshness while capturing millennials’ adventurous tastes, restless spirits–and food-shopping dollars.”
I applaud Campbell’s for thinking outside of the can and for trying to reach younger consumers through digital channels, but the current strategy seems forced, hollow, and the opposite of authentic (didn’t the creative brief also tell you that we all crave authenticity??). I haven’t tried the soups, and despite the good reviews, I’m not sure I can bring myself to throw a pouch of Spicy Chorizo into my cart knowing that the face on the package is supposed to represent my indie, free-spiritedness. I’m in Colbert’s camp on this one—how about you? Do you like the new campaign or should Campbell take this one back to the drawing board?