Kraft to Promote Macaroni and Cheese Change Made Months Ago

Brand Sells More Than 50 Million Boxes and Few Notice Tweaks

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Kraft Heinz is ready to promote a major ingredient switch after what could be called the world's biggest blind taste test.

Last April, Kraft said it would soon refresh the ingredients in its iconic macaroni and cheese to appeal to today's clean label-minded consumers.

Removing artificial flavors, preservatives and synthetic colors without dramatically changing the taste, color and texture took years. The final recipe was ready in 2015. Instead of boasting, the brand opted to quietly overhaul the ingredient list on the side of the famous blue box. It sold more than 50 million boxes after the switch was made in December, and waited to see if any consumers noticed.

Few did.

"We wanted our fans to experience the new recipe themselves, without being prompted," said Greg Guidotti, VP-meal solutions for Kraft Heinz.

Now, Kraft Heinz is ready to shout about the change. Starting Monday, it will promote one of its biggest bets with a campaign that plays on the idea that "it's changed but it hasn't."

Craig Kilborn appears in new TV commercials as a pitchman holding a new box, which now calls out the ingredient changes in bold lettering. The actor was chosen "because he can deliver that message in a way that's very consistent with the tone of our brand and he can really say it with a smile," said Mr. Guidotti.

Commercials, including a 30-second version and two 15-second spots, show a mom, a kid, a dog and others not reacting to the overhauled ingredients. They are set to air during programs such as Today, Ellen, The Voice, American Idol and the NCAA Basketball tournament.

The campaign speaks in broad strokes, rather than pointing out ingredient swaps such as using paprika, annatto and tumeric for color instead of Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Kraft wants to appeal to both current buyers and lapsed buyers, who either stopped buying boxed macaroni and cheese or switched to smaller rival brands such as Annie's Homegrown from General Mills.

Read more about the campaign over at AdAge.com.

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About

Credits
Date
Mar 07, 2016
Agency:
Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Client:
Kraft
VP/CCO:
Ralph Watson
VP/ECD:
Adam Chasnow
CD:
D'Arcy O'Neill
AD:
Tyler Gonerka
Writer:
Emily Salas
VP/Director of Video Production:
Kate Hildebrant
Integrated Producer:
Jamie Slade
Production Company:
Hungry Man
Director:
Hank Perlman
DOP:
Eric Steelberg
EP:
Mino Jarjoura
EP:
Nancy Hacohen
Editorial:
The Now Corporation
Editor:
Owen Plotkin
Assistant Editor:
Jessica Dowling
Editorial Executive Producer:
Nancy Finn
Post Production:
Art Jail
Lead Compositor:
Steve Mottershead
Lead Compositor:
Ben Vaccaro
EP:
John Skeffington
Post Producer:
Adriana Wong
Graphics/Animation:
Art Jail
Mix Company:
Lime Studios
Audio Engineer:
Mark Meyerhaus
Audio Engineer:
Peter Lapinski
Music Company:
JSM Music
Executive Music Producer:
Joel Simon
Telecine Company:
Art Jail
Colorist:
Steve Mottershead
VP/Account Director:
Evan Russack
Account Director:
Kelly Olech
Content Manager:
Ashley Huehnerfuss
Group Director Strategy:
Kaylin Goldstein
Business Affairs:
Katherine Graham-Smith
Traffic Manager:
Tito Texidor
Traffic Manager:
Laura Crow
Traffic Manager:
Katie Hare

See more credits

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