September 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm by Ted Mininni
Andy Warhol famously elevated Campbell’s soup cans to pop art. At first, The Campbell Soup Company wasn’t so sure they liked the idea. But the company warmed to the artist who declared he had eaten the soup “for lunch for twenty years”, commissioning two paintings and sending him cases of tomato soup. Campbell’s also established the Andy Warhol Scholarship Fund with the New York Art Academy.
What’s cool here is that Warhol saw art in Campbell’s iconic soup packaging. He painted 32 condensed soup cans and hung them side by side to mimic product on supermarket shelves in his first solo gallery exhibit in Los Angeles in 1962. The eye-popping colors the artist used were vibrant and fun. This was the kind of art that didn’t take itself too seriously and it invariably made people smile. It still does.
Campbell’s purchase of art from Warhol might have helped to launch the new Pop Art movement in the United States. Now on the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s landmark achievement, The Campbell Soup Company has launched four limited edition tomato soup cans to be sold at Target in Warhol-like color combinations in a licensed deal with the Andy Warhol Foundation. The company is also sponsoring the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” opening on September 18th.
It’s kind of interesting to see that Warhol’s homage to Campbell’s soup is being returned by the object of his art a half century later. But for me, as a package designer, it brings core questions front and center again:
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Categories:Branding, Package Design, Consumer Products, Marketing Thought Leadership