Campbell’s Soup: Old World? I Don’t Think So

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\"RRBy the way, there’s a strategy point and breakthrough concept for everyone in this article. Campbell Soup Company is a first-mover in the implementation of cognitive computing. So, read on.

Founded in in the real “old world” of 1869, Campbell’s Soup would grow to become the number-one selling soup brand in the world and one of America’s most iconic brands across all industries. Andy Warhol immortalized Campbell’s soup cans during the 1960s. His 1962 Pop Art tomato soup can painting sold at a Christie’s auction in 2006 for $11.7 million.

Campbell’s Soup was, and still is, a powerhouse iconic brand, and its memorable from-the-heart advertising pitch set new standards. In fact, the slogan “Mmm Mmm Good,” created in 1935, still resonates as one of the great slogans of all time.

But It’s a Brave New World

Fast-forward, and fast is the operative word. Old world, consumer-facing businesses are struggling to keep up, much less fundamentally transforming their models, which they must do simply to survive in this new technology-infused era. The Mad Men days of big advertising, when those guys would aggregate a mass market of a gazillion “eyeballs” that they could then bombard with a gazillion dollars worth of broadcast and print ads, is over. We can see the meltdown as its fallout has hit the publishing and broadcast industries.

Now, new world marketers must master how to execute the personalization of marketing and advertising because consumers demand it. Marketers can achieve this most important strategy through analysis and implementation of big data. They must also understand the range of new online mediums, including the explosion of “influencers,” You Tube, Facebook, Google search and so many other digital paths and social networks available to seamlessly connect with each and every consumer wherever they are, and whenever they want to be connected, if permitted.

Campbell’s From Legacy Brand to First-Mover

Campbell Soup Company will be the first consumer packaged goods brand to implement IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence to digitally connect with individual consumers real-time via cognitive ads providing them with a personalized interactive experience. The Weather Company, a recent IBM acquisition, will play a key role in this program running Campbell’s online ads offering personalized recipes based on location, ingredients and, naturally, the weather. For those “head scratchers” who puzzled over IBM’s acquisition, the collaboration reflects the Weather Company’s capabilities as a data-driven content company beyond just projecting the weather.

To cut to the chase, IBM will run Campbell’s Soup ads on The Weather Company’s website and “Chef Watson” (think Siri, Alexa, and the other AI virtual helpmates) will have a conversation with you. Even scarier or fantastically personal (however you choose to feel about it), Watson knows where you are and what the weather is like at the moment you are conversing. You say what? Well, we know weather can be a variable around various food selections including lighter ingredients and cold dishes in the summer and more robust recipes during cold or rainy days. But in this case, Watson is personalizing recipes. You tell Watson (yes, you talk to it) what ingredients you have on hand for preparing your meal, and using a series of application program interfaces, or API’s (don’t ask me), Chef Watson takes the data and then suggests dishes that can be prepared with those ingredients. Additionally, Chef Watson will tell you the top 10 recipes others are seeking, in the Amazon tradition, “if you like this, you’ll love that.”

Of course Watson will have a built in bias for Campbell’s products. But, so what? Those consumers who engage, will certainly assume that. Theraflu is also in Watson’s line-up of machine learning recommendations and answers to consumer questions, and Toyota is next up in 2017.

Personalization: A New Frontier in Marketing

The experts say AI-based advertising is in its embryonic stage, poised on the edge of a new frontier. We have written (See Personalization! The Next and Biggest Thing) about personal commerce and personalization of marketing, communications and advertising as strategies for powerfully engaging the consumer. This AI targeted marketing, combined with the personalizing of goods, services and experiences for customer acquisition is the future.

We have already integrated analytics and algorithms into our everyday conversation. Tools such as Watson will take data based marketing to a new level. Think back to the frontier of the automobile as it was defined by the Model-T IN 1908. While we may be at a similar point in time in the emergence of a personal commerce frontier, what took 107 years for the automobile to evolve to its present state will seem like an eternity next to how fast personalization will define our entire lives.

Moore’s Law is embedded directly or indirectly in the growth of the technology era: computer power doubles every two years at the same cost. So, to expand on the concept, Watson will no doubt appear to be a primitive system just four years from now. The speed of change and the impact of machine learning on all aspects of our lives will be profound. While we can’t really predict a timeline … try, tomorrow?

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