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Campbell Soup is changing the design of its iconic soup-can labels and store displays. For two years, the company studied consumer reactions such as changes in heart rate to various images of Campbell logos and bowls of soup, using the results to create labels with larger bowls and no spoons. Ilan Brat reports in the Wall Street Journal that the Campbell Soup Co. is relying on new neuromarketing studies to guide the redesign of its condensed-soup packaging. The research looks at physiological responses — such as perspiration and increased heart rate — to marketing. Campbell researchers studied microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design.

The company hopes the label and display changes will help shoppers connect on a deeper level to the products and boost its condensed soup sales by 2% over the next two years. For years, Campbell’s researchers asked consumers whether they remembered an ad and whether it made them more likely to buy a product. But a 2005 Campbell analysis revealed that, overall, ads deemed more effective in surveys had little relation to changes in Campbell sales. Another round of research showed that Campbell’s large logo at the top of shelf displays draws more attention than necessary. At first glance, the logo’s bright red background makes all varieties of soups—from the classic chicken noodle to the jazzier Italian Wedding Soup—seem to blend together, the company learned.

In interviews, participants also said the soup pictured on the can and shelf labels didn’t look warm. And the big spoon holding a sample of soup on each label provoked little emotional response.

Campbell’s three biggest sellers—chicken noodle, tomato and cream of mushroom, the soup can labels immortalized by Andy Warhol—will remain the same. But on other labels, steam will rise from larger, more vibrant pictures of soup in more modern, white bowls. And those unemotional spoons will disappear.

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