Brandweek Covers Empower Work on Bush Grillin’ Beans Product Launch

BRANDWEEK, March 18, 2008

By Vanessa L. Facenda

Bush Brothers is introducing a line of slow-cooked beans, specifically meant to accompany chicken, steak and chops.

Bush is known for beans that go well with hot dogs and burgers, but it’s not the first brand that comes to mind for other grilled meats, said Scott Daniel, Bush’s senior brand manager for baked beans. “There are about 12.5 billion grilled meals per year and we were missing that opportunity,” he said.

Grillin’ Beans is a new line of baked beans, available in four varieties with flavors including Smokehouse Tradition, and Bourbon and Brown Sugar. The products will hit store shelves this month and will retail for around $1.89.

Bush, Knoxville, Tenn., is supporting the launch with a new campaign breaking on March 24. A 30-second TV spot will introduce consumers to the new Grillin’ Beans line. In the spot, Bush TV character “Jay Bush” is outside grilling meat when his wife approaches and says she is going to get Bush’s Baked Beans. He tells her, “No baked beans tonight,” and everyone in the yard stops in shock.

“Baked beans are great for hot dogs and hamburgers,” says Jay, “but new Bush’s Grillin’ Beans are made to complement grilled meats such as chicken, steaks and chops.” Voiceover: “Slow-cooked and expertly seasoned with just the right blend of spices. So I want new Bush’s Grillin’ Beans.”

As part of its outreach, the company has created a Grillin’ Beans Perfect Pair Recipe Contest where consumers can film themselves preparing a chicken, steak or chop recipe paired with Grillin’ Beans. Videos and recipes can be submitted on Four finalists will participate in a cook-off, airing on the Food Network during Labor Day weekend. The grand prize is a $5,000 backyard makeover, while the first 800 entrants will receive a coupon for a free can of Grillin’ Beans.

Additionally, a 10-second spot will air on the Food Network, DIY, GAC, Fine Living and HGTV to promote the contest by driving traffic online, said Mike Adams, director of digital marketing at Empower MediaMarketing, Cincinnati, which handles planning and buying for traditional and digital media for Bush.

Banner ads also will appear on,,,, and

“This promotion is the first of its kind for Scripps across all of its networks to support one brand,” said Adams.

Bush spent approximately $20 million in U.S. measured media on its baked beans in 2007 (excluding online), per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Daniel said the company will slightly increase its ad spend in 2008 to accommodate the launch of Grillin’ Beans. “We will also continue to shift our investments in marketing as we leverage online,” he said.

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