CAMDEN, N.J. -- Campbell Soup Co. here kicked off the New Year with a national multimedia campaign promoting the notion that soup helps dieters lose weight. At the center of the effort was a 12-page four-color booklet inserted into the January issue of several magazines typically displayed in racks at the checkout lanes of supermarkets. The booklet, "Lose Weight and Enjoy the Great Taste of Campbell's," explained how easy and delicious a calorie-controlled diet can be when built around the 30 varieties of low-fat and low-calorie soups packaged in the well-known red-and-white cans. According to Campbell's, most adults who start a meal with soup consume fewer calories; therefore, said the brand marketer, soup appetizers help one lose weight. And the company backs up this claim with research gathered from multiple studies at leading universities.
The booklet that ran as an insert in the January magazines had a combined total circulation of 30 million copies, according to Kevin Lowry, a Campbell's spokesman. Some of the magazines were: Good Housekeeping, Hearst Corp.; Ladies Home Journel, Meredith Corp.; Woman's Day, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines; Family Circle and McCall's, Gruner and Jahr USA Publishing, and Prevention, Rodale Press. "We're in nearly every magazine that has Christie Brinkley on the cover," said Lowry, "and then some."
Campbell's supported the program with a network TV campaign. Thirty-second spots aired during prime time and day time with a tag line telling viewers to look for special displays in grocery stores and for the insert in January magazines. The in-store part of the campaign consisted of special displays in 10,000 supermarkets around the country. Company representatives also handed out copies of the booklet, coupons and Campbell's collectibles such as T-shirts and running gear in 3,000 stores in late January and early February. The January issue of Prevention, which carried the Campbell's insert, was distributed at the Food Marketing Institute Midwinter Executive Conference last month in Orlando. The magazine sponsored a "Sun Run and Walk" there at which it handed out shirts, caps, prizes and magazines to the participants.