Watch: Eating Milano Cookies in the Bathroom Now Encouraged

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Pepperidge Farm: Milano: Tub
Pepperidge Farm: Milano: Tub Credit: Pepperidge Farm

After a hectic day, there's nothing better than a relaxing bath. That is, sitting in a bath to eat cookies while hiding from your kids.

Pepperidge Farm Milano is telling consumers, mainly women, to "save something for yourself" in the brand's first TV push since 2013.

The effort kicks off Thursday with a TV spot that seems, at first, to show a woman having a bath while eating a Milano cookie.

Once the camera pans out, it's clear that's impossible, as the tub is filled with her kids' bathtime toys. As they try to interrupt from the other side of the bathroom door, she pulls out a deep voice, pretending to be the dad, and gets a few more moments to herself.

It's been nearly five years since Milano was on network TV, giving the brand plenty of time to research its consumers.

"Milano is an extremely mindful snack," says Karen Marks, head of integrated marketing for Pepperidge Farm. "They will open the bag, they will take out a plate, they will put two cookies on a plate, and they will sit down and savor the cookies. We knew that this was not your ordinary shoving some of my kid's cookie in my mouth."

And while there are male Milano fans, the brand is eager to remind busy women to take time for themselves with the "Save Something for Yourself" campaign from Y&R New York.

The concept at first glance is not unlike the brand's last TV push, which showed a woman sneakily enjoying Milanos before going to her husband's work dinner; it ran for a few months in 2013.

"What's different now is the way we're approaching it," says Marks. "There's an acknowledgment and an ownership of needing the moment and taking the moment."

Pepperidge Farm: Milano - Stressful Day
Pepperidge Farm: Milano - Stressful Day Credit: Pepperidge Farm

The "Tub" spot, which also has a 15-second version, is the only one currently slated to run on TV. Other videos for online include a mom taking a moment for herself with a plate of cookies and a magazine during a game of hide-and-seek.

"It's about a 100 percent increase in our media investment" from previous years, says Shibani Potnis, senior brand manager on adult snacks, Pepperidge Farm.

The push comes as Milano is growing, though not outpacing the broader industry. Milano is the top-selling premium branded cookie and the No. 2 selling cookie on Amazon, according to Pepperidge Farm, a unit of Campbell Soup Co. Dollar sales of Milano cookies rose nearly 1.7 percent to $163.5 million in 2017 while sales in the overall cookie category rose nearly 2.1 percent to $8.45 billion, according to data from Chicago-based IRI.

Pepperidge Farm: Milano
Pepperidge Farm: Milano Credit: Pepperidge Farm

The brand is also emphasizing moments on the go, adding single-serve multipacks—two cookies per pack—in Mint Chocolate. Dark chocolate single-serve packs are already out. And there are two new flavors in the bigger bags, Chocolate Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.

It's also hosting an event in New York on Thursday to show women how to squeeze in more me time with sections including reminders to return texts, how steps while doing housework and other chores can count as exercise, and suggesting Milano drink pairings from hot cocoa to wine. The push also includes social, print, in-store and digital executions.

Along with Y&R New York, Milano works with Wavemaker on media and Zeno Group on PR.

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