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Healthy Choice looks to humor to reinvent itself April 6, 2009

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ConAgra Foods is repackaging and reintroducing its Healthy Choice line, and is looking to the humor of Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus to catch the attention of audiences new and old.  One of the original pioneers of healthy frozen dinners, since its success in the 1990s Healthy Choice has lost out to competing brands that have released more exotic choices and adapted to dieting trends. Dreyfus appears to be performing well for the company, as one reviewer from Entertainment Weekly praised her appearance in new commercials.

Watch the following videos to see criticism of previous commercials released by Healthy Choice, along with the new spots starring Dreyfus:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why might traditional advertising strategies fail in reintroducing Healthy Choice?  That is, why might commercials like that seen in the first video above fail to distinguish the product?

2.  Does humor in advertising succeed in breaking through the clutter of other brands?

3.  What is the audience for Healthy Choice?  Will the ads work best for new audiences (those who currently do not buy healthy frozen dinners), or older audiences (those who have been purchasing similar dinners for years)?  Why did you answer the way you did?

4.  Why Julia Louis-Dreyfus? What does she offer as a spokesperson?

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