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lo-res_mhhe024216-sHe’s back, and in a big way! After a multi-year hiatus, B&G Foods is introducing a new generation of consumers to its beloved Jolly Green Giant mascot and hoping to sway both adults and children to adopt its new and existing product lines of frozen and canned vegetables.

With a deeply cinematic approach designed to draw viewers’ attention, a new $30 million advertising campaign builds suspense, Spielberg-style, by showing the Giant only indirectly. (Stephen Spielberg famously chose not to reveal the shark until the very end of Jaws, in an effort to make moviegoers even more nervous.) His immense shadow darkens buildings, his footsteps mar fields, and characters in the commercial respond with awe at what they, but not the audience, can see. Audiences cannot help but wonder, “What happens next?”

With its slowly unfolding narrative, B&G Foods has also found new channels to air the commercial. Beyond conventional television spots, the marketing communications appear in non-traditional settings such as movie theaters. With these new channels, interest in the brand has expanded vastly and among new segments of the population. The remarkable success of the campaign has led B&G Foods to announce plans to continue the approach in 2017, 2018, and 2019, with the addition of new print advertising, as well as mobile pop-up stands to get products in the hands of consumers.

But B&G Foods also is not stopping with advertising. To help keep its brand relevant, it will introduce 15 new vegetable products. Driving its new product generation efforts is the same principle applied to the revamped image of its decades-old mascot: Old is new again. Familiar dishes such as tater tots have been redesigned to feature a healthier mix of mashed cauliflower and vegetables. Trendy new products such as fire-roasted vegetables are available in the freezer case, next to the traditional bags of broccoli and peas. By leveraging these strategies together, B&G Foods hopes that its revamped product line and updated image of one of the most well-known brand mascots will encourage children to get excited about eating their vegetables and parents to enjoy the compelling and expanded product options.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why re-introduce the Jolly Green Giant? What potential benefits does it offer the brand owner?

 Source: Martha C. White, “Shadows Fall and Jaws Drop for a Jolly Green Icon’s Comeback,” The New York Times, December 4, 2016