Campbell’s Soup Mm! Mm! Good!

Monday, January 24, 2022

“Mm! Mm! Good!” It is a slogan that brings memories from childhood, particularly in the depths of winter. Playing in the snow and then coming inside to a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Getting sick with a winter cold and having a cup of chicken noodle soup to feel better. The smell of potatoes, vegetables, and pork slow cooked with cream of celery wafting on a cold night. In each of these memories, Campbell’s Soup is ever-present. And I suspect I am far from alone in enjoying these memories. If you search your memories, I’m sure you will come across one that features Campbell’s, maybe not as a soup, but certainly as an ingredient in a dish. Like a green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.

Campbell’s Soup advertisement featuring suggested recipes using soup to save time and money.

In 1954, Campbell’s selected BBDO to be their advertising agency. In a speech, Campbell’s executive vice president Clarence Eldridge discussed how the company went from fourteen or fifteen agencies down to five. But when they “put the microscope on the final screening, [they] came out unanimously with the conviction that even though all could do a good job, BBDO had the things to do the best job of any agency [they] could get.” The character of the agency, its personnel, its marketing, copy, and creative television abilities, among other considerations, made BBDO stand out as the right choice for Campbell’s.

It is possible BBDO worked with Campbell’s Soup prior to 1954, as the collection has advertisements dating back to 1916. BBDO continued as Campbell’s advertising agency until at least the mid-1990s. When BBDO first took on Campbell’s as a client, the soup company saw their sales stall out. BBDO worked to reinvigorate interest in canned and frozen soups in part through recipe development in the test kitchen and new advertising campaigns and slogans. “Soup on the rocks” was an early campaign led by Jean Wade Rindlaub. Other slogans included, “Mm! Mm! Good,” “Almost everybody's grown up with Campbell's, didn't you?” and “Never underestimate the power of soup.” And who can forget the memorable 1993 television commercial featuring a snowman shuffling in from a snowstorm to melt away and reveal a kid who is enjoying a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup?

1968 advertisement in Ladies Home Journal for Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.

BBDO has created numerous memorable advertising campaigns and slogans, not just for Campbell’s. These ads have led to smashing success for clients and are tied to our collective memory and nostalgia.

Related Collection: Campell Soup Company sales department films


Ashley Williams is the Processing and Digital Archivist at Hagley Museum and Library.