Campbell Soup’s Labels Redesigned Using Neuromarketing

Recognizing the limitations of consumer research methodologies, Campbell Soup has been tapping into 'neuromarketing' techniques to pinpoint what is...

Paloma M. Vazquez
Paloma M. Vazquez on February 17, 2010. @pmvazquez

One of the challenges encountered by marketing and advertising pros is when the love that consumers express for your ad, packaging or product during research doesn’t directly translate into sales.

Recognizing the limitations of standard consumer research methodologies, Campbell Soup has been tapping into ‘neuromarketing’ techniques to pinpoint what is truly most engaging and emotionally compelling for a consumer.

According to the Wall Street Journal,

For years, Campbell’s researchers asked consumers whether they remembered an ad and whether it made them more likely to buy a product. But a 2005 Campbell analysis revealed that, overall, ads deemed more effective in surveys had little relation to changes in Campbell sales.

Robert Woodard, Campbell’s vice president of global consumer and customer insights, says the traditional interview had limited usefulness because people’s words didn’t fully capture their unconscious responses. He says Campbell needed approaches that would help it understand the neurological and bodily responses to an ad rather than how people thought they’d reacted.

For the past two years, researchers studied microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design.  They combined these biometric tools with a different type of deep interview to more accurately gauge which consumer communications worked better.

This neuoromarketing-based research will result in the implementation of some of the biggest changes in decades to the iconic labels and shelf displays. Starting this fall, we can expect to see condensed-soup varieties sectioned into four, color-coded categories such as “taste sensations” in orange and “classic favorites” in light brown. The company’s logo will be smaller and moved lower so it’s not as prominent (a surprising admission for a consumer packaged goods brands). Steam will rise from larger, more vibrant pictures of soup in more modern white bowls.  And the demonstration of a spoon (deemed unemotional) will disappear.  Campbell’s three biggest sellers, including those immortalized by Andy Warhol, will remain the same.

Wall Street Journal: “The Emotional Quotient of Soup Shopping”