Hormel Chili - Bold Innovation

January 25, 1998 | :30

First-time Super Bowl advertiser Hormel kicks off “Bold Innovation” by giving viewers what they expect from a big-game ad. They see a car under wraps, as if it’s still at the desert test track, hiding from auto magazine photographers. By the time the twist comes, viewers are caught: They more or less owe it to themselves to pay attention to the rest of the commercial. And if they do stick around, they get to hear the funny rapid-talk kicker at the end.

“Hormel’s 1989 spot for chili could run on the Super Bowl today and, with only some minor modernizations, it would work,” said Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker, professors of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in an email evaluating “Bold Innovation” from the perspective of 2016. The ad pre-dated Kellogg’s annual study of Super Bowl ads’ effectiveness, but Calkins and Rucker said they suspected the Kellogg panel would give it a fairly good score. “It would not top the popularity polls but the spot would build the business," they wrote. 

“Out of Control,” also by BBDO Minneapolis, tries to attach excitement to the product right from the start. The Hormel brand manager on the ads at the time, Jeffrey Ettinger, was named CEO of Hormel Foods in 2005. 

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  • BrandHormel Chili
  • Year1998
  • AgencyBBDO
  • Superbowl #XXXII
  • Quarter aired