Does this new Campbell’s Go! Soup package, shown on the right side of the image above, succeed as a “disruptive” (Campbell’s word) platform for a new brand? Or does it simply look like the newest example in a line of Campbell’s Soup print ads that started more than a century ago? Let’s talk about it.
Iconic packages abound. Relics of the early 20th century, the Coca Cola bottle, the Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, the roll of Life Savers, and of course the can of Campbell’s soup, are each rife with historic brand equity.
Challenged with brand equity of incalculable value and of measurable limitations, each of these brands continue to make decisions on growth while building recognition and brand equity, and while adjusting to the cultural, manufacturing, environmental, and logistical aspects of the contemporary marketplace.
We learned yesterday that Campbell’s is continuing an evolution away from its iconic past with the introduction of Campbell’s Go! Soup. I may have some questions about certain elements of the design . . . like mainly this solution seems more like a print ad than a package (maybe that’s OK). But also isn’t the tone just a little too smarmy, and what’s with the lady (it’s a lot of real estate to invest in her), or is it a great idea (especially in an unfamiliar structure) to make the Smoked Gouda flavor name twice the size of the Campbell’s brand identity?
But I don’t question the series of bold decisions it must have taken within the walls of Campbell’s, and I generally applaud the effort to evolve the brand. It would seem that they haven’t lightly considered the hard questions of how to strongly move a brand equity of the last century into the next.
As CEO Denise Morrison said, Campbell’s is “moving from a high dependence on line extensions to more disruptive innovation, new and differentiated products, packaging and category segments that create new pathways for growth.” Disruptive this is!
In closing a small gripe about the Ad Age column where this initiative was mentioned. It waxed eloquently about the package change and how “the marketer embraces innovations and new packaging in search of a turnaround.” Yet no mention of the brand identity or package design firm that must have helped carefully guide the development of this new brand. They certainly mentioned that Omnicom and Y&R share the advertising responsibilities . . . but design firm, nope. Then again it is called Ad Age.