Campbell’s: Flavorful Soup, Weak Message

I like the way this ad for Campbell’s condensed soup uses the colors from the label in the foreground and background. It’s a nice touch.

It’s the message of the ad that I wonder about. They’re saying that when they make condensed soup, they don’t start out with regular soup and then boil it down. Instead, they add less water right from the start, which makes the soup more flavorful.

I infer from reading this ad that there are other companies making condensed soup by boiling out the water. But I can’t even think of any other companies other than Campbell’s who make condensed soup.

According to How Products Are Made, when chemist John T. Dorrance invented condensed soup  for Joseph Campbell Preserve Company at the turn of the 20th century, this is how he did it:

Using his knowledge of chemistry, Dorrance set about to create a better condensed soup. He reasoned that by reducing half of the soup’s water, the weight would be considerably decreased. His challenge was to create a strong stock that would hold its flavor when water was added to reconstitute the soups. In effect, Dorrance was creating a sauce.

So the process that Campbell’s is describing in their ad is the same process used to manufacture condensed soup since it was invented about 100 years ago. It’s likely that if any other company makes condensed soup, they do it the same way. It just doesn’t make any sense to make ready-to-eat soup and then boil away half the water.

If no other company makes condensed soup by boiling away half the water, and no one imagines that’s how it’s made, what exactly is the point of this ad?


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