CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- While some executives sign off on integration deals, few are expected to actually play themselves as part of the branded move. Yet two Campbell's Soup heads will do just that, appearing as themselves on "All My Children" this Thursday.
The appearance is the lynchpin in a three-show integration with ABC Daytime. Campbell's media agency, Mediaedge:cia, brokered the deal, developed by ABC Sales' integrated-marketing and promotion division.
February is American Heart Month, and heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Campbell has begun focusing more of its marketing dollars on middle-aged women, a group it admits it neglected in the past. The company is in the midst of a multiyear overhaul of its soup business, and expects to have reduced sodium levels in 40% of its soups by the end of fiscal 2010.
In the integrated episode, Campbell's Soup has donated a hospital wing. Denise Morrison, president-soups, sauces and beverages; and Lisa Walker, VP-soup innovation, make their cameos as part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony. During an interview at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York in Boca Raton, Fla., last week, Ms. Morrison said she had enjoyed filming the episode. "And I got to play myself," she said, happily.
Success last year
This is the second year in a row that Campbell's has done a February integration with ABC Daytime, though the network stepped up the deal this year by calling for company cameos.
"ABC Daytime delivered a strategic media solution to Campbell's heart-health marketing objective, and we are thrilled to see all four daytime shows working in unison to support this very important initiative," said Mike Shaw, ABC Television's president-sales and marketing, in a statement.
Christine Tiranno, director-national broadcast at Mediaedge:cia, said she took the proposal to her client based on last year's success. Campbell spokeswoman Juli Mandel Sloves was unable to disclose specific stats regarding return on investment from on last year's integration but said, "I can tell you that consumers really responded to it. They were calling the consumer-affairs hotline to let us know that they liked it." After all, she said, the effort is about raising awareness of heart disease.
Campbell will also be worked into "One Life to Live" as sponsor of a Valentine's Day ball, and on "General Hospital," which will have a heart-transplant plotline. In addition to the live broadcast, ABC will be running the show on SOAPnet and online at abc.com.
ABC and Campbell have both featured heart-healthy themes this month. The soup company partnered with "30 Rock's" Jane Krakowski and designer Nicole Miller, inviting consumers to vote online for their favorite of three dresses that Ms. Miller designed. Campbell donated $1 for each vote, totaling $275,000, to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Movement, and Ms. Krakowski wore the winning frock to the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards. ABC also worked Campbell and its quest for lower-sodium soups into an episode of "The View" earlier this month.