NEW YORK: Pinnacle Foods is launching a campaign to bring its fictional syrup mascot, Mrs. Butterworth, back into the limelight by debuting the character's previously unrevealed first name.
In May, Pinnacle Foods, aided by its AOR the Bender Hammerling Group, held a contest asking consumers to figure out Mrs. Butterworth's first name and to give the reasons for their guess. On October 1, the name will be revealed, in addition to those who correctly guessed the name and the reasons for it.
This campaign is part of a recent strategy to reinvigorate the Mrs. Butterworth character, said Stefan Aps, marketing director at Pinnacle Foods. The Mrs. Butterworth character was first introduced in 1961. In 2006, the company reintroduced commercials featuring Mrs. Butterworth, and the character has also been referenced in pop culture, such as in the lyrics for Kanye West's song “Touch the Sky.”
“Since she's been back in the public, a lot of customers have started asking her first name,” Aps noted. “A lot of interest has been from people who grew up with her and remember her from childhood. This was light-hearted way of bringing this interest to light.”
The campaign, which primarily targeted mothers, solicited “thousands” of entries, said Stacey Bender, president of Bender Hammerling Group. The name debut will be publicized with trade media, consumer press, food bloggers, Mommy bloggers, radio stations, and through Facebook and Twitter. The official name will first be announced via a telephone conference, in which the character's voice will reveal the name.
“We thought instead of just revealing the name, why don't we engage our consumers,” Bender noted. “Especially because people already have feelings about Mrs. Butterworth and have heard her voice [in the commercials].”
Going forward, the team is launching other campaigns that attempt to sustain interest in Mrs. Butterworth. For example, the next campaign, “Where in the world is Mrs. Butterworth?,” will invite customers to share stories and pictures about the places they bring the syrup with them.
“The message here is, Mrs. Butterworth's inspires imaginative play and it's a brand that's full of fun for kids and Moms and Dads who grew up with her,” Aps said.