The ConAgra brand is turning to the daughter of real estate magnate "The Donald" to help it pitch its new $3.49 eat-at-your-desk lunch line. Ms. Trump, who is also a judge on "Celebrity Apprentice," was on hand at New York's Grace building this afternoon to christen the launch of the brand's new Fresh Mixers microwave meal line, a compact, all-inclusive dish being targeted to the office set. The kickoff for the desk-drawer-friendly lunches occurred simultaneously in New York and Chicago with the giveaway of 15,000 full-size plastic tubs.
A manic schedule
And while a hotel executive and next of kin to one of the world's richest businessmen might not seem like an obvious spokeswoman for affordable microwave lunches, Ms. Trump insisted her manic schedule and hours of being mired in her family's strongholds frequently leave her rushing her meals or forgoing them altogether. "I am constantly on the go and often feel guilty about trading lunch for a business appointment," she said.
The partnership was alluded to last week through Ms. Trump's posts on a blog, in which she wrote about "more and more people skipping the deli line and bringing lunch to work to save money" and "how boring a brown bag lunch can get," something she said she could "completely relate to."
"She's one of the busiest women out there," said Paula Ford, brand director for ConAgra Foods. "She doesn't have time to go out to lunch. We feel anyone can relate to that."
ConAgra champions its newest rollout as a simple, healthy alternative to pricy and sometimes mysterious sandwiches and salad-bar standbys. The mixers, which come in six varieties, including Sesame Teriyaki Chicken and Szechwan Beef, use extra virgin olive oil, wine reductions and whole-wheat flour, and tout a packaging method seen in Healthy Choice's previous product launch, Café Steamers.
Web series planned
In addition to the dual-city promotion today and already-aired TV spots from creative agency Nitro, there was a plug in a recent episode of ABC's "Ugly Betty" (a lingering shot of a stack of the product in a character's desk).
Ms. Ford said the company plans to introduce an interactive online campaign from Bridge Worldwide next month in conjunction with Chicago's famed Second City improv acting troupe and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller. Called "Working Lunch," the website will feature live interactions between the improv cast and cubicle-bound office workers, with users getting to choose sketch themes and direct the actors.