Campbell’s enlists the Leafs’ ‘Souperman’ for new brand spot

Who: Campbell Canada, with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

What: “Tastes like home,” a new brand spot featuring Toronto Maple Leafs winger—and noted soup enthusiast—Ilya “Souperman” Mikheyev. It’s the first official partnership between Mikheyev and Campbell, which named him “Chief Soup Officer” earlier this year, although he did do a quick-hit Twitter ad in February.

When & Where: The online video campaign features :45 and :15 spots running on, as well Facebook and Instagram, from today (Dec. 10) until Jan. 20.

Why: Sometimes a marketing opportunity just falls into a brand’s lap, and that’s certainly the case here. It was decades ago now (actually Opening Night of the 2019-20 NHL season), when, during a post-game media scrum, the Russian-born Leafs rookie questioned why Canadians don’t eat more soup before telling reporters “I like soup.” That was enough to earn him the nickname “Souperman” from teammates, not to mention an unexpected endorsement deal.

How: It’s a funny little spot that features Mikheyev on the phone with his mom back in Russia, telling her (in Russian) that he wants to make her creamy tomato soup and asking her for the recipe. As he pantomimes her instructions to chop up onions and garlic—no Zoom calls for Mikheyev, fortunately—he takes a can of Campbell’s Creamy Tomato out of his well-stocked cupboard and heats it up on the stove.

Anything else: Yep, Campbell’s also recently partnered with Leo Burnett—with Spark Foundry for Media and iProspect for search—on a new campaign for its Chunky Soup brand. The campaign, “SouperClass,” mimics the popular online instructional series MasterClass, with the host, who’s “feeling souper” after eating a bowl of Chunky, providing solutions to everyday solutions like helping people get out a car stuck in the snow or helping a friend clean an eavestrough (see the three ads below).

And we quote: “It’s exciting to see our partnership with Mikheyev officially come to life through his video debut. Early on we learned that soup has played an important part in Ilya’s upbringing and family traditions. We wanted to share that story with fans in a fun way—and were delighted that Ilya’s mom could participate as well.” — Mieka Burns, vice-president of marketing, Campbell Canada




Chris Powell