The History Behind Campbell's 'Mmm, Mmm, Good!' Slogan

Though there are many canned soup brands on the market, few are as recognizable as Campbell's. The company has been around since 1869 when produce vendor Joseph Campbell and commercial canner Abraham Anderson started their company. Back then it was called Anderson & Campbell, and wouldn't become Campbell Soup Company until many years later in 1922. But it isn't just the name and the quality of the product that made Campbell's so iconic. It was also the marketing.

In 1898, Campbell's introduced the now famous red and white label to its soups. Inspired by the uniform worn by the Cornell University football team at the time, Campbell's executive Herberton L. Williams decided it would look good on the soup cans too, and ultimately, he was right. The easily identifiable label combined with the catchy slogan — "Mmm! Mmm! Good!" — would make Campbell's a leader in the soup category. That slogan however came out over 30 years after the red and white packaging.

Who came up with Campbell's Mmm! Mmm! Good! slogan?

While the Campbell's packaging can be easily traced to a singular person and backstory, the same unfortunately can't be said for the Campbell's slogan. But while the author is uncertain, we do know for sure that the slogan was written in 1931. During this time, Campbell's expanded production to Canada and Great Britain, and introduced Cream of Mushroom and Chicken Noodle soups. As consumers and products increased, the company apparently felt the need to up the ante on marketing, and thus a slogan was created.

These days the Campbell's slogan is usually mentioned once at the end of commercials, either as written text or via voiceover, but in the 1930s and well into the '80s and the early '90s, it was the main focus of every ad. The words "Mmm! Mmm! Good!" made up only part of the lyrics of a full jingle that would be sung throughout the entire commercial.

Campbell's has used multiple slogans over the years

After years of success marketing its soups under "Mmm! Mmm! Good!," in 1993, Campbell's decided to take a break from the original slogan and switched to "Never Underestimate the Power of Soup." After two years of the new tagline failing to take off, Campbell's ended up settling for a similar but slightly updated "Mmm! Mmm! Better!".

Campbell's tried again with "We Have a Soup for That" in 1999, but by the year 2000, sales were down, even after the company had introduced tabs on its cans and new products such as microwaveable Soup to Go. It was at this point that Campbell's went back to its original, tried-and-true slogan. The soup company appears to have no plans to ever retire "Mmm! Mmm! Good!" as it still appears in recent commercials, but Campbell's has also added others alongside it including "It's Amazing What Soup Can Do!" and "Made for Real, Real Life."