Campbell’s began selling a new limited-edition line of Warhol-themed cans of tomato soup on September 2 at most Target stores across the country. The cans, priced at 75 cents, replace on the shelves the iconic imagery Warhol appropriated fifty years ago as high art. Retailwire.com sees the promotion as part of Target’s ongoing rollout of limited edition collections aimed at gaining wide media attention and adding to its fashion cred, similar to the October 2011 launch of a limited edition collection from Missoni. At the time, the high volume of online orders for Missoni merchandise crashed Target’s website.
The promotion has been produced in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which controls the licensing of the artist’s name and images. Despite Warhol’s persistent assertion of art as just another commodity, now, as in 1962, its exclusivity remains a powerful adder of value: the cans are already selling on eBay for $17 a set and up.