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Campbell’s: Soup on the Rocks

    In 1955, Campbell’s introduced a captivating concept through their “Soup on the Rocks” cocktail campaign, aiming to boost sales of their canned beef bouillon. The initial recipe featured a simple combination of beef bouillon and ice. However, as time unfolded, customers elevated the concoction by incorporating zesty elements like lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. While Campbell’s didn’t actively promote this unconventional beverage, individuals frequently personalized it by introducing additional ingredients, such as vodka or other alcoholic spirits, transforming it into a unique and customizable drink.

    Soup on the Rocks emerged as a beacon of refreshment, wellness, and culinary delight, capturing the zeitgeist with its unique fusion of comfort and novelty. This innovative concoction resonated so well that Campbell’s, in a bold move reminiscent of Don Draper’s advertising prowess, revisited the concept in 1963 with the introduction of the Frisky Sour—a nonalcoholic cocktail designed to tantalize taste buds.

    “For a summertime drink, it is low in calories—less than 30 calories per generous serving,” enthused a company report at the time. “It is inexpensive… It is especially valuable to athletes and golfers in replacing salt lost through exercise. Best of all, it is downright delicious.”

    David Ogilvy, a luminary in the advertising world, emphasized that if your headline fails to sell your product, you’ve essentially squandered 90 percent of your financial investment. Campbell’s, in a stroke of marketing brilliance, successfully revamped their approach to promoting a familiar product, achieving noteworthy success. Their innovation lay in the strategic introduction of beef broth to a summer audience, departing from the conventional tactic of targeting the winter market. This shift in perspective proved to be a game-changer for Campbell’s, demonstrating the effectiveness of reimagining the presentation and timing of a product to resonate with diverse consumer preferences and seasonal dynamics.