SBD/September 6, 2012/NFL Season Preview

Chunky Soup Bringing Back Popular Mama's Boy Campaign With Giants' Victor Cruz

Giants' Cruz starring in Campbell's "Mama's Boys" Chunky Soup campaign
Campbell's Chunky Soup is bringing back its Mama's Boy NFL-themed campaign after dropping it in '08, with Giants WR Victor Cruz starring in the ads, according to Andrew Adam Newman of the N.Y. TIMES. In an ad that debuted yesterday, Cruz is surprised when an actress playing his mother "gains access to the field by dressing as a mascot and pushes a bowl of soup at him." Cruz' mother in a different spot set to debut in November "pops out of a bag of footballs." Cruz joins Donovan McNabb, Jerome Bettis, DeMarcus Ware and the late Reggie White as NFLers to appear in the campaign. Chunky began airing the Mama's Boy spots when it became the NFL's official soup sponsor in '97, and Chunky Senior Brand Manager Mark Materacky said, "Because it was so successful and iconic, we just kept coming back to the Mama's Boy campaign. We thought there was definitely an opportunity to resurrect the campaign and leverage our relationship with the NFL." Newman notes to promote "year-round consumption, Campbell has in recent campaigns for several of its lines, including Chunky, promoted pouring thicker soup varieties over foods like noodles, biscuits and mashed potatoes." Cruz in one ad "suggests pouring the chicken with country vegetables variety over rice" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/6). Meanwhile, Cruz is also appearing in a new ad for Time Warner Cable. The spot, called "Ball Machine," features Cruz delivering the message that with TWC video and Internet, he can enjoy his favorite show and content anywhere and anytime he wants (TWC).

SEPARATE LIVES
: In Boston, Greg Bedard noted Cruz in the offseason "signed with a marketing firm to compartmentalize his off-field dealings," which included commercials, magazine shoots and endorsement deals. But "ask anybody around the Giants about the way Cruz has handled his business, and nobody doubts him." Cruz said, "That's one aspect of my life. I try to separate the two. I have to come in and still be a football player and an athlete, and that's what got me to this point marketing-wise. And I understand that once the season comes around, I have to kind of separate the two and put football first, and then once those opportunities come, I can handle them as they come" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/2).
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