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Campbell's Soup taps cognitive ads

News, 03 October 2016

NEW YORK: The Campbell Soup Co. is launching an innovative digital ad campaign which will use IBM's Watson cognitive computing system and data from The Weather Company to recommend recipes based on a consumer's individual needs.

Amy Benford, Global Media Director at Campbell's, discussed this pioneering program during a session at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) 2016 MIXX Conference in New York.

This week, she reported, people visiting weather.com – a website acquired by IBM as part of its purchase of The Weather Company's brand, B2B, mobile and cloud-based web-properties – will be shown a distinctive set of display ads promoting Campbell's products.

More specifically, thanks to its tie-up with this platform and Watson, the ads will offer recipes tailored to each consumer's particular location, culinary preferences and the weather in their area.

While the technology behind this activation is extremely sophisticated, the goal for Campbell's is, essentially, a traditional one for the brand.

"Our mission at Campbell's is to make real food that matters for life's moments," said Benford, (For more details about this campaign, read Warc's exclusive report: Watson: Campbell's Soup menu for programmatic.)

"And we know through social listening that those moments aren't just holidays and special occasions. They're every day."

In fact, these "special" moments could be preparing for a pre-game tailgate party, having friends over for dinner, or simply deciding what the family will eat that night. And Watson can cook up suggestions for all of them.

"To us, IBM's Watson cognition is really one-to-one marketing in its purest sense," Benford said. "We're able to understand a person's mindset like never before.

"It's information we've never had access to. And so we're able to provide from an array of products that we have at Campbell's the right solution to the right person at the right time in their right mindset."

And if a recommendation doesn't exactly match a user's needs, that problem can be resolved with a quick click on a mobile device – say, to move from clam chowder to vegetable soup.

Users can also type in or talk through a list of ingredients to find the right dish – a proposition that helps demonstrate how Watson's cognitive computing power can change the game for a brand like Campbell's.

"We're not advertising anymore at consumers. We're advertising with them, for them. There has to be a purpose, a value," said Benford.

Data sourced from Warc