“Taste is a paramount message in all of our communications,” said Juli Mandel Sloves, senior manager of nutrition and health communications at Campbell's. “We are really going to great lengths to sample with media, so that they can also promote the taste for us.”
The company is providing samples to mainstream and trade media, along with bloggers, through outreach and a radio promotion in August while Campbell's Tomato soup, which now has 480 milligrams of sodium per serving, rolls out to stores.
The effort's targeted audience is Baby Boomers although the brand is considered one of the top 10 weekly buys at grocery stores by people of all ages, said Mandel Sloves.
A media event was also held in Davis, CA, on August 19 for a dozen outlets to visit the tomato fields, meet the growers, learn about the seed varieties, sample the soups side-by-side, and talk to Campbell's chefs.
“This story has lots and lots of facets to it," she said. "So what we did was invite a really good cross section of media."
Regional outlets like KCRA, the Sacramento Bee, and the Davis Enterprise, as well as trades like Grocery Headquarters, Nation's Restaurant News, and QSR Magazine, covered the event. Bloggers from The Kitchn and Joelen's Culinary Adventures also attended.
The Campbell's team plans to use the company Web site, Facebook, and Twitter pages to promote the product and share the company's reasoning behind reducing sodium in the tomato soup brand.
Weber Shandwick, AOR for all Campbell's wellness communications, is providing support.
While the communications team plans to introduce broadcast and online advertising, Mandel Sloves noted that PR will play a significant role in the effort because of the need to educate its audiences.
“We recognize that, particularly as it regards to nutrition and health, that PR plays a very important focus,” she said. “As we really focus more and more on wellness at Campbell's, we've increased our PR support along the way.”