I have been waiting to see something dynamic from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ever since word got out that they moved their business over to Crispin Porter + Bogusky in March of this year. Only recently have I taken notice of their new advertising and it intrigues me as both an adult Mac & Cheese lover and an appreciator of interesting advertising.
But first off, here’s what they’ve got going on:
- Spending $50 million promoting this campaign for the year (30% increase from last year)
- Moving from their economy-motivated taglines emphasizing price to slogans that focus on making adults feel like it’s okay for them to love Mac & Cheese too: “You know you love it,” “The most fun you can have with your stove on,” “Outgrow outgrowing it,” “Imported from your childhood,” and “Parents need warm cheesey hugs”
- The usual advertising: Commercials, Print, Billboards, Online, Website and Social media
- The not-so-usual:
- Noodle Art (20 feet long and 9 feet high macaroni sculptures) placed in national landmarks (Wrigley Field, Fisherman’s Wharf, etc.)
- Interactive store front displays that say “Cheese” and use face recognition technology to make the noodle smile at customers in the top 3 markets
- A Homestyle Tour that visits 15 midwestern state fairs to showcase the Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese
- Die-cut noodles on taxi tops in New York
- Wallscapes in New York, Chicago and LA
I really like the new look of all their advertising and think they did a good job of giving it a look that adheres to the traditional Mac & Cheese style but with a more sleek and grown-up feel. And I especially appreciate the fact that this iconic Kraft brand isn't kicking back and letting their very well-known brand continue selling boxes based on their brand recognition- they are out aggressively advertising to a new audience and looking to add another dimension to their brand.that "homestyle" anything is the preferred dish of choice there and displays at state fairs is a great way to engage homestyle kind of people in a very direct way.
Not only are they advertising heavily, Kraft and CPB are doing a variety of really interesting things that should set the standard for other major food brands. Even though macaroni sculptures are a little crazy (possibly bordering on obnoxious), it's a cool idea and a fun take on OOH advertising. I really liked the new YouKnowYouLoveIt.com website they launched that has an interactive roulette wheel that you can spin to win points for coupons and I'm also impressed by the amount of social media they're incorporating into their campaign. I also like the idea of adding a tour to the campaign and I think they targeted all the right cities. After attending college in the midwest, I learned very quickly
The only criticism I could present is the overall lack of focus and cohesiveness from this campaign- there's a lot of different taglines and messages and goals- but I think that an enormously popular brand like Mac & Cheese can just barely pull that off. The brand recognition and loyalty have long-been established, they're just looking to gather new customers that are already aware of the brand. I think this is a really cool new take on Mac & Cheese, an interesting new direction for their brand, and an exciting new standard for food product advertising.