Campbell’s announced this week that it has made the decision to dramatically overhaul their iconic soup label design in favor of embracing an emerging trend in advertising design that manipulates the involuntary physiological responses of consumers. The famous red labels of Campbell’s soup cans remained largely unchanged throughout much of the 20th century and became a global icon through Andy Warhol’s use of the can label designs in a series of paintings. While it is fairly clear that Warhol’s work was not exactly intended to be a ringing endorsement of the company, it nevertheless solidified Campell’s soup cans as one of the quintessential product of American consumerism.
Despite the fact that polls show consumers are clearly in favor of keeping the iconic label designs, Campbell’s has chosen to trade in whatever advertising value the nostalgic red labels held for consumers for a decidedly 21st century approach to advertising. While earlier forms of consumer manipulation exploited psychological buttons in the minds of customers such as using red and yellow color schemes to excite customers, Campbell’s new label’s take advantage of “neuromarketing” techniques that cause an actual physiological change in the human body. Following a two year study that measured subtle changes in pupil dilation, breath, heart rate and skin moisture of customers while they shopped for soup (the same involuntary indicators measured by lie detectors. BTW), Campbell’s believes that they have cracked the code to make consumer’s hearts go a flutter over a can of cream of mushroom.
A picture of the new label can be found in a related article at Fast Company.