Hormel Tries Target’s Schtick

from Lewis Lazare: Minnesota food processor, Hormel Foods (makers of SPAM) is heating up New York’s Times Square with a giant three-sided billboard that seeks to position cooking as an artful form of expression not unlike high fashion.
Each image on the billboard created by BBDO/Minneapolis presents fashion models in chic outfits, but each look has been accessorized with cooking paraphernalia. A checkered cook’s apron, for instance, is dramatically paired with a fire engine red cocktail dress. Beneath that image is the copy line “heat things up.” In another visual, a model’s simple black dress is finished off with a silver belt from which hang various cooking utensils. The copy line for this get-up is “cooking is the new black.”
“We wanted to liken the personal flair normally associated with fashion to cooking and the Hormel brand,” said Denny Haley, president and chief creative officer at the agency.
My note: Hormel has a troupe of brand evangelists who make treks to the shrine, uh-hum SPAM Museum, in Austin, Minn. Which is cool. SPAM is classic Americana and for some, camp. Plus people everywhere eat it!
In this high-wired time of trouble for the actual word “SPAM,” I see an opening for Hormel to “gain capital” by say things like “We’re the Good SPAM.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.