Monday, January 11

Defending Campbell's Soup

Not too long ago, Campbell's released a new campaign featuring two dads. Two dads channeling commentary from the iconic Star Wars series. It was perfectly timed to the new Star Wars release and perfectly timed to join the growing positive depiction of fathers, especially gay fathers, in marketing.

I personally couldn't have been more pleased.



Having seen brands like Honey Maid, Swiffer, and Tylenol come before them, I'm sure the folks at Campbell's anticipated a little backlash. We all anticipated a little backlash. We're used to the backlash. We expect the backlash.

Evidently someone prepared for the backlash, someone not from the brand. Someone created a mock Campbell's Customer Service Facebook page and opened it up for comments, I'm sure anticipating a bunch of negative ones. Now while this looked like it was officially a Campbell's site, it was in fact created by an individual.

Sure enough the negative comments came. The answers were priceless! Here's one example...


The best part is that many consumers just assumed that this was an official response. But it was instead an individual who just wanted to defend the campaign. This writer was just polite enough, just snarky enough to be believable. And many applauded "Campbell's" for its willingness to go out on a limb for its consumers.

I haven't noticed any response from Campbell's, which to me is the best response. Let consumers speak on their own, and your behalf.

As marketers, we always talk about consumers taking over our messaging, especially on our social channels. Some of us even stress about it because we simply can't control it anymore. But the truth is that it's going to happen, whether we like it or not. We of course have to monitor it for appropriateness, that goes without saying.

But sometimes consumers can just simply say it better than we can.

What's your experience? JIM.

PS - This isn't the first time this has happened. Comedian Mike Melgaard has become infamous for his defense of brands like Doritos Rainbow Chips and Target. I love seeing consumers defend each other when they see their brands supporting them!

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