I am an unabashed devotee of the time-traveling series Outlander. In trying to bring friends on board, I expound on how it’s an amazingly real depiction of 18th century Scotland. Having never been to Scotland, nor existed in the 18th century, the ultimate irony is that the only way I could substantiate real would be to actually travel through time.
Memorable advertising runs the gamut from poignant (the Clydesdales bowing to lower NYC after 911) to delightfully preposterous (cue up any Geico spot). But neither represents real. So the question remains, does real work?
Campbell’s Soup, one of the most venerated American brands, introduced their first ready-to-eat can of tomato soup back in 1895. Fast forward over a century. So how did they successfully promote a product for today’s moms and dads that was neither farm-to-table, non-gmo or organic? And, was viewed as a relic that most forward thinking consumers didn’t want to admit to liking? They. Got. Real. And the campaign was utterly delicious.
Scene: On the eve of a major snowstorm, an obviously harried mom, powering through the supermarket with two young kids and a long list, is seen dumping (yes that is the appropriate verb) multiple cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup into her cart. The clincher occurs when hearing the market’s audio system warn that schools will all be closed, she grabs a bottle of red wine and dumps it right on top of the cans of soup. Super: “Campbell’s. Made for real, real life.”
Campbell’s found the perfect way to own the word real without misrepresenting their product. They peeled back the curtain, revealing a universal truth. Hidden in the pantry, behind the organic stewed tomatoes, imported artichoke hearts and boxes of quinoa, we all have a secret stash of their famous tomato soup. You don’t even need a measuring cup – just fill the can with water or milk and heat. In less than 5 minutes it goes from gelatinous muck to hot, satisfying soup that is best served with a garnish of crumbled crackers. Mmmm good.