Pillsbury makes a play for brand awareness, trying to fight off generics
The "Home is Calling" campaign is meant to be soothing and evocative of old-fashioned family values of people sitting around a table eating together and enjoying the simple things in life. In the first video spot on Pillsbury site, a bunch of busy, harried, cold people make their way home to a warm house and warm crescent rolls coming out of the oven, and the Pillsbury dough boy peeking out from behind a corner like a little fairy dough-mother who makes this all possible.
The campaign is necessary because shoppers are changing their habits very rapidly as food costs rise dramatically. If companies like Pillsbury are going to keep customer buying things like Crescent rolls and ready-made cookies, they're going to have to strike up an extremely strong brand awareness, much stronger than before. Because it's not going to take much more than a few cents of price difference for consumers to grab a cheaper brand. And if prices rise too high, we'll start to see a lot more people opting for cooking from scratch rather than buying pre-made items.
A new study from Information Resources Inc. shows that consumers don't necessarily want to cut back on quantity or quality of their meals -- especially for the holidays -- so the easiest place to make some cuts is to buy cheaper brands (with the assumption that doing so doesn't compromise quality, which is most often the case). The study indicated that 51% of those polled were planning on using private-label products for their holiday meals, up from 30% to 35% most other years. The study predicts that Wal-Mart and Costco house brands will be the big winners of this trend.
Paul Sakuma, AP
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