Sara Lee Breaks ‘Joy’ Umbrella Campaign

By Aug 24, 2006

Sara Lee Food & Beverage this week begins its first-ever umbrella campaign for its deli, bakery and dessert lines, introducing the theme “The Joy of Eating.”

That tagline will serve as a platform for all Sara Lee’s brand marketing. The estimated $20 million to $30 million campaign centers on TV spots that show people with their mouths full, savoring their food; a new Web site, TheJoyofEating.com, posts recipes to dress up Sara Lee products, such as pound cake, bagels and coffeecake.

Sara Lee will add “The Joy of Eating” visuals to P-O-P, packaging, bakery delivery trucks and other marketing vehicles. Consumer promotions are slated to begin later this year. TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles, handles the campaign for Downers Grove, IL-based Sara Lee, which named the shop its advertising agency of record for the Sara Lee brand in May (PROMO Xtra May 12, 2006).

The campaign shows quick ways to dress up Sara Lee items, but the ads emphasize the emotional connections of food rather than convenience.

“People may be busy, but they genuinely don’t prefer functional food they can eat in the car,” said VP-Sara Lee Brands Peter Reiner in a statement. “The campaign breaks the convention of food advertising today by shifting the emphasis from ‘functional food as hero in a chaotic world’ to positioning all of our Sara Lee products as better, emotionally enjoyable and tasty choices. It highlights the quality, taste and versatility of our food and celebrates people adding their own easy touches to our products.”

The umbrella campaign dovetails with Sara Lee’s efforts to streamline its portfolio, part of its year-old turnaround plan. Fiscal 2006 results are mixed: Sara Lee Corp.’s net sales fell 1% to $15.9 billion for the year ended July 1, due largely to divestures and currency exchange rates. But Sara Lee Food & Beverage sales rose 4% to $4.40 billion for the year; retail meat sales rose 4% to $2.53 billion in North America, and retail bakery sales rose 3% to $1.87 billion in North America.

Sara Lee Corp. spent $95.9 million on advertising in the first half of 2006; the company spent $177.8 million on measured media in 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence.

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