ConAgra Banquet pies are mother's little helper in new campaign

By Elaine Wong on Thu Oct 21 2010

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Can a frozen pie really end sibling rivalry (if only for a few minutes)? Can it get a hungry child to do her homework? ConAgra claims so. The maker of Hunt's tomatoes and Reddi-wip has kicked off a new campaign for Banquet that touts the brand's ability to relate to moms' real-life dilemmas. (Talk about pulling one's hair out!) Ads show how Banquet makes life easier via its value proposition (under a buck for one pie) and convenience. Ads will run in publications like Family Circle, Woman's Day and People. And while we're not entirely convinced this is the modern-day miracle meal, anything that makes a mom's day go by easier is surely worth a shot. Second ad after the jump.

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Manwich provides strength, nutrition for grade-school outcasts

Posted on Mon Oct 26 2009

It's so embarrassing when you're a kid taking part in a school play about Farmer John's Vegetable Patch, and you show up as a Manwich. Or no, it's not, because each quarter-cup of Manwich equals a half-cup of vegetables, so you're fine! Except the kids are still baffled by your costume, as are your parents, who won't even let you take it off at dinnertime. Which of course consists of Manwiches, making you a cannibal of sorts. This campaign, by DDB San Francisco, is part of ConAgra's strategy to move Manwich from a "hearty" to "nutritional" message. (Research showed the brand's "A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal" positioning wasn't resonating all that strongly with consumers.) So yes, you can satisfy that full serving of vegetables in lots of different ways, so long as you don't mind being an outcast until at least high school.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

ConAgra's mascots get a little recession payback in online game

Posted on Wed Oct 14 2009

Conagra

For all you recession-addled consumers out there, please do not take your frustrations out on your neighbors, co-workers or family members. ConAgra Foods is giving you another outlet to vent: a steam-blowing game called Recession Payback. The game pits scheming corporate executives and politicians against well-loved ConAgra Foods mascots. Joining the fight against the "self-serving senator," "Wall Street schemer" and "bonus loving banker" are the "Snack Pack" ("We're here on behalf of all the kids that've lost their allowances.") and Ms. Banquet ("To all the turkeys who caused this recession, my frying pan is hot!" she warns). We pitted the lovely Ms. Marie Callender against the evil corporate banker, and we were impressed with her oven-mitt punches. Bam!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Sara Lee says Kraft is being a total wiener with its hot-dog ads

Posted on Thu May 21 2009

Hot dog copy

We haven't had a good wiener-related lawsuit in a while (at least, not one we felt comfortable writing about). But our ship has come in, as Sara Lee Corp. is suing Kraft Foods for false advertising. The specific issue here is Kraft's claim in a full-page USA Today ad that Oscar Mayer Jumbo Beef Franks beat Ball Park and ConAgra Foods' Hebrew National hot dogs in a national taste test. Which sounds like it beat all hot dogs made by the latter two companies, when in fact, in fine print, Kraft admits it only compared its dogs to "leading beef hot dogs" made by its rivals. Apparently, someone does read the fine print. I'm expecting Sara Lee to win, but only because Oscar Mayer couldn't have possibly beaten Hebrew National in a taste test. In fact, nothing could.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Parkay fans lick their lips over upcoming talking-tub iPhone app

Posted on Tue Mar 24 2009

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Someday there'll be an iPhone app for everything. And we may get there sooner rather than later, now that South Carolina agency Rawle Murdy is working on an app for Parkay spread. "This is a great example of an iconic, but neglected brand," says the e-mail pitch. "We wanted to contemporize and connect with new/young moms through new media. ... We created an iPhone app of the talking Parkay butter tub that talks back to you. Voice recognition commands the tub to say things like 'Parkaaaay' when you say 'butter'; 'moo' when you say 'Parkay'; you can set a word for it to giggle in response to; etc." The app should be available within a few weeks.
  The talking tub was introduced in 1973. It went silent in 2002 but returned last year in a 15-second spot called "Barn," in which it was seen mooing in a barn stall (to indicate that the ConAgra product is now made with real nonfat milk). The campaign also featured outtakes from the "Barn" spot, with the tub busting the farmer's chops during the shoot in a lighthearted manner. Those new/young moms watching the outtakes might be a little taken aback, though, when the tub insinuates that the farmer probably enjoys having sex with his cows.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

Without PAM cooking spray, your life would be a total nightmare

Posted on Thu Mar 5 2009

A pair of new commercials from DDB for ConAgra's PAM (the acronym stands for "Product of Arthur Meyerhoff") show what happens when you forget to use the cooking spray. Baked cupcakes get stuck to the pan, salmon filets go flying out the window. It's a total disaster. (The in-laws would not be impressed, now would they?) Fortunately, both scenarios turn out to be bad daydreams for the women involved. "Relax," says the voiceover. "PAM helps you pull it off." A modern-day mother's little helper.

—Posted by Elaine Wong


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