Kraft testing a new Mac & Cheese product cooked up by CP+B

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Sep 1 2010

Kraft

The latest idea for Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese was literally cooked up by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The agency, which won the account in March, came up with a new product—a frozen version of the staple in an aluminum tray that you can throw on the grill. "We wanted dads to use it," says Bill Wright, group creative director at CP+B, "and the only way was to be able to make it so you can throw it on the barbecue grill." Wright says the grill "lends a nice, smoky flavor" to the Mac & Cheese. Kraft is currently testing the product in "very, very small release." CP+B's other work for the brand has been no less quirky. Ads, which sport the tagline, "You know you love it," play up the guilty-pleasure factor. "The most fun you can have with your stove on," reads one outdoor ad. TV spots, meanwhile, show parents screwing their kids out of their Kraft dinners. Wright says the product intro shows how CP+B thinks beyond advertising. "I don't know if you usually get product ideas from your ad agency," he says. This isn't the first time CP+B has gotten into product creation. The agency is credited, for, among other things, dreaming up Chicken Fries, now a Burger King menu staple.

Bull's-Eye barbecue sauce is only meant for bold, statue-like men

Posted on Fri Jun 18 2010

You can tell the type of guy he is by the type of sauce he uses when barbecuing. That's according to this new pitch for Kraft Foods' Bull's-Eye, which also happens to be the first time the barbecue-sauce brand has aired a national ad in 15 years. The spot, by Draftfcb in Chicago, is part of a larger campaign now running with the tagline, "The bold choice." It equates barbecuers' use of "bold" sauces (i.e., Bull's-Eye) with a strong character. After all, as the ad says, "They don't build statues of sweet men. Well, they do, but they're called figurines." And who wants to be called that?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Kraft flavored mayo works wonders on any fixer-upper sandwich

Posted on Fri May 28 2010

Kraft is bolstering its flavored mayonnaise with a dash of star power, courtesy of HGTV Design Star's Candice Olson, Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip. Wel, OK, "star power" is pushing it, but they're nevertheless the new faces of Kraft's Sandwich Shop brand, making over humdrum sandwiches in TV spots from mcgarrybowen patterned after reality shows. There's also a range of print material, including one ad that goes so far as to "deconstruct" the sandwich. For those of you trying to pinpoint the exact spot at which post-modernism died, look no further. The campaign is geared toward bored middle-aged women who look to makeover shows for inspiration, hence Kraft's repetition of phrases like "go bold by stepping outside the flavor norm," which I can just hear Vern Yip saying with complete sincerity. Not for nothing, but mayonnaise hasn't inspired much except possibly heart disease, and there's a real difference between dramatically altering your appearance or living space and eating a BLT that tastes slightly different than before. It may still work, especially considering the amount of money Kraft is putting behind it, but it's definitely a stretch.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Singing cookies give way to dancing humans in Chips Ahoy! ads

Posted on Fri May 28 2010

What is it about Chips Ahoy! that makes kids start dance, dance, dancing when they see them? Kraft calls it the "little happy cookie dance," referring to what happens when fans of the chocolate-chip cookies see Mom take them out of the cupboard. Now, the food giant has set aside its Cookie Guys—those larger-than-life, clay-animated cookie characters that advertised the brand for eight years—in favor of a campaign showing real people dancing while eating the cookies. The spot here, by Draftfcb, New York, also introduces a new tagline: "There's a lotta joy in Chips Ahoy!" It's set to the tune of the 1979 R&B hit "Bustin' Loose" by Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers. BrandFreak will admit the ads are catchy, but sure does miss those good ol' Cookie Guys. Their sense of humor—despite the threat of always being eaten—extends even to the microwave, as evidenced in this "Big Meltdown" spot.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

DQ's Oreo Blizzard now available in shocking, tasty cookie form

Posted on Thu May 27 2010

OreoBlizzard

There's a giant Oreo Blizzard truck making its way around the country, and if you're lucky enough to spot it, it might give you a yummy Kraft- and Dairy Queen-inspired treat. To celebrate the Blizzard's 25th birthday (it is, after all, one of DQ's most requested treats), Kraft and the soft-serve and fast-food chain have teamed up to introduce a limited-edition Oreo Blizzard Cookie. It's a "combination of smooth Blizzard-flavored crème blended with crunchy Oreo cookie pieces" all sandwiched "between two dark chocolate Oreo wafers," according to Kraft. The mobile truck (which is shaped like a giant Oreo Blizzard cup) is distributing mini versions of the cookie, but for those of you who can't wait (hey, the truck is only making 25 stops), the new treats are available at Walmart and Target for $3.29. DQ will also begin selling mini Oreo Blizzards in August.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Jell-O to get its wiggly and jiggly groove back in new campaign

Posted on Mon May 17 2010

Any ad campaign that conjures a Fat Albert memory is starting out on the right foot. And there's even more nostalgia in the new full-court press for Kraft's iconic wiggly dessert, Jell-O. Legendary pitchman Bill Cosby is back, as are his interviews with children, à la Kids Say the Darndest Things. This time they're on the Web in 10-minute Jell-O-sponsored vignettes called "OBKB," which takes its name from the way Mush Mouth said "OK" on Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. There's a lot going on with this effort, including a Facebook page, a new logo and jingle, FSIs and TV, print, outdoor and in-store ads. A highlight has to be a national contest to find the best giggle (to be judged, ultimately, by Cosby and included in a national TV spot). There's a cross-country tour via a tricked-out mobile recording studio, where folks in 22 cities will be able to compete for the best giggle (entries accepted online, too). Is snorting allowed? Kraft certainly isn't the first marketer to go the happiness route to sell its products in these recession-racked, frowny times. But even cynics might have to admit this is just plain fun.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Kraft Lunchables tricks kids into thinking they're seeing aliens

Posted on Fri May 7 2010

Sometimes I get the feeling that marketers try a little too hard to get their brands to stick in consumers' minds. But maybe that's not such a bad thing when its for a good cause. Take this commercial for Kraft's Lunachables, now airing in theaters nationwide. Actually, I'm tempted to call the three-minute spot, dubbed "Alien Field Trip," a short film because of its content and message. It shows children on a trip to a space museum being introduced to "real" aliens (the space kind—this isn't a John McCain re-election ad), and the awe, curiosity, and excitement the experience evokes. The kids interact with the mysterious creatures until it's revealed that they're actually not real aliens, and that this is a commercial for Lunchables. The point of the ad, created by agency The Escape Pod, Chicago, is to highlight the benefits of school fields trips and the positive effect they have on children. As part of the effort, Kraft is giving away 50 field trips to schools in need. It doesn't appear that real aliens will be involved, but the spot is sure to get the message across to moviegoers.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Sara Lee says Kraft is being a total wiener with its hot-dog ads

Posted on Thu May 21 2009

Hot dog copy

We haven't had a good wiener-related lawsuit in a while (at least, not one we felt comfortable writing about). But our ship has come in, as Sara Lee Corp. is suing Kraft Foods for false advertising. The specific issue here is Kraft's claim in a full-page USA Today ad that Oscar Mayer Jumbo Beef Franks beat Ball Park and ConAgra Foods' Hebrew National hot dogs in a national taste test. Which sounds like it beat all hot dogs made by the latter two companies, when in fact, in fine print, Kraft admits it only compared its dogs to "leading beef hot dogs" made by its rivals. Apparently, someone does read the fine print. I'm expecting Sara Lee to win, but only because Oscar Mayer couldn't have possibly beaten Hebrew National in a taste test. In fact, nothing could.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Miracle Whip will not just sit there quietly like that pathetic mayo

Posted on Tue May 19 2009

Miracle-whip

Add Miracle Whip to the list of low-budget foods feeling inspired by the shaky economy, and the reined-in consumer spending habits therein, to strike out in a new direction. Or don't. Frankly, we aren't sure if they're reinventing themselves or not. They seem to think so. "We have reinvented Miracle Whip" is a direct quote from one of their spokespeople. But while its Zingr online initiative is interesting, the new Miracle Whip ad campaign from mcgarrybowen markets the product as "the downscale sandwich spread [millennials] grew up with," which betrays the idea of transformation somewhat. One would think they might draw on their own currently relevant history instead. Miracle Whip was introduced during the Great Depression as a low-cost alternative to mayonnaise, premiering at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. Spinning that as proof that Miracle Whip sustained us during rougher times than these would be uplifting and, more important, free of the insipid "Hey, kids, remember the '80s?" crap everyone else is doing.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Do not eat your boating buddy, he is not actually a giant peanut

Posted on Fri Mar 13 2009

The spot opens just like any scene out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. A ship sailing on the lonely seas, the beautiful, crystal-like waves rolling in the background. Except our Will Turner in this case is not Orlando Bloom but a wide-eyed, hungry chap who mistakes his friend for a giant, salty peanut. Kraft's Mr. Peanut mascot, in turn, is about as nimble as Captain Jack Sparrow himself, fending off the attack with his signature black cane. A few bruises later, the man, "Gary," finally gives up his assault on the "nut" when he gets his hands on the new, Planter's peanuts made with sea salt. Seems like Kraft has taken a page out of the popular Disney movie. (Draftfcb, New York, handles.) Is a search for the long-lost Black Pearl ship next?

—Posted by Elaine Wong


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