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Posts Tagged ‘Kraft’

Kraft Confirms Velveeta Shortage as Super Bowl Approaches (The Horror!)

2D11086829-shotofvelveeta.blocks_desktop_largeRemember that time Starbucks ran out of pumpkin-flavored syrup at the height of autumnal mania, and all hell broke loose? Well, imagine a similar scenario, except instead of coffee-seeking young professionals and hipsters, the angry mob in desperate search for seasonal foodstuffs is a rowdy group of football fans. With a just-confirmed shortage of Velveeta right before the Super Bowl, this doomsday situation could be looming in our imminent future.

At first, like all rumors of impending catastrophe (global warming, anyone?), the general public assumed it was some sort of media-hyped panic or marketing ploy. But, oh, how tragically wrong we were.

Earlier this fall, Kraft sent NBC News two different memos warning that customers should be prepared for limited supplies of Velveeta in the coming months. “We have recently moved our Velveeta production lines from one Plant to another Plant this summer,” read one. “During this transition we have run into production challenges.”

Just a way for the company to get people to run out and stock up on over-processed “cheese product,” right? Wrong!

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How False Advertising Created Kraft’s Famous Bright Orange ‘Cheese’

shutterstock_65962642Earlier this week our own Shawn Paul Wood made light of Kraft‘s decision to get rid of the artificial dyes that give some of its mac and cheese products that signature “nuclear orange” color in response to an online consumer petition.

We would call this a PR win, but NPR‘s “All Things Considered” wanted to know more: why did Kraft feel the need to color its cheese in the first place?

The answer is simple: a 250-year-old-case of false advertising.

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Kraft Hopes Fabricating History Will Make You ‘New-stalgic’ for its New Flavors

Remember, way back when you were a kid, coming home from school to find your mother lovingly fixing you a hot, creamy bowl of Buffalo Cheddar Kraft Mac & Cheese? No? That’s probably because it never happened, because no such thing ever existed. But that’s not stopping Kraft from trying to make you feel nostalgic about its brand new products.

Excuse us — not nostalgic. New-stalgic.

After 75 years, the brand is adding four new flavors to its Mac & Cheese repitoire: Garlic & Herb Alfredo, Buffalo Cheddar, Three Cheese Jalapeño and Cheesy Southwest Chipotle. The accompanying campaign, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, re-writes history in an attempt to make customers feel all wistful, warm and fuzzy by conjuring up nonexistent memories of simpler times.

“Even though it’s new, it’s nostalgic. It’s new-stalgic,” the agency explains.

At the campaign’s website, new-stalgic.com, visitors can scroll through a timeline of historical photos, videos and ads dating all the way back to 1938, all featuring milestones in which the four new flavors were (totally not) involved. For instance, did you know that world champion athletes in the 1950′s, Astronauts in the 70′s, and high school jocks in the 80′s all managed to achieve greatness because they were fueled by Kraft’s spicy, cheesey goodness? Well, it’s (totally not) true! Read more

How Brands Use Games to Develop Better Products and Marketing Campaigns

Gamification: it’s a relatively new buzzword, but you’ve probably been hearing a lot about it lately. Why? Because it’s now clear that digital games go well beyond your XBox and Farmville accounts. All kinds of brands can use games to promote their products: here, for example, Edelman PR‘s Robert Phillips discusses the firm’s success creating a digital bar distraction for popular rum brand Captain Morgan.

And companies don’t just use gamification to entertain customers and familiarize them with a brand–it can help them develop better products and figure out exactly what the public wants from them in the first place. We recently had the chance to chat with Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation and Design at Communispace, to figure out how they help brands like Kraft, State Farm, Citigroup and Comcast develop better products and marketing campaigns with simple betting games known as “prediction markets.”

How does the public see “gamification”? Do they distinguish it from traditional video games? 

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Roll Call: Edelman and PR News

Edelman PR announced the hire of Denis Edwards, formerly head of IT at Milwaukee’s “workforce solutions” provider Manpower Group, as the company’s new global chief information officer. Edwards will work from Chicago to oversee the firm’s internal and client-facing information technology systems and infrastructure around the world.

Edwards managed IT operations for Manpower Group in more than 80 countries, working with the company’s marketing department to create “award-winning social media career development solutions”.  He was recognized by both Forbes magazine and ExecRank as one of the world’s most innovative CIOs and social media experts. Prior to working with Manpower, Edwards held top IT positions at companies large and small including Kraft, Marriott International and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. (Release)

PR News re-hired Matthew Schwartz as group editor at the expanding content brand. Schwartz served as editor of PR News from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to write for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines and editing BMA Buzz, a newsletter published by the company and the Business Marketing Association.

Schwartz says that he is “eager to get back to covering the PR industry” and helping to grow the PR News brand. He will be responsible for managing content on the company’s website in addition to its newsletters and guidebooks; Schwartz will work closely with PR News editor Scott Van Camp and events editorial director Steve Goldstein to deliver the brand’s trademark news and tools to public relations professionals around the world. (Release)

Cadbury Introduces Chocolate That Doesn’t Melt

First we invented the wheel. Then we developed a cure for polio. And now we’ve created a chocolate that doesn’t melt.

That’s right: Cadbury UK–which is owned by the American juggernaut Kraft–has announced the invention of “temperature tolerant chocolate” which can survive temperatures of up to 104 degrees for hours. Make no mistake: this is a big deal.

Just think about the role chocolate has played in your own life, then think about the role chocolate has played in the history of the human race. The public has obviously always loved chocolate: From GIs in World War II handing chocolate bars to dusty children in war-ravaged landscapes to Willy Wonka’s implacable influence on American film, chocolate always represented those things that are good in life.

And now, thanks to a scientific breakthrough that allows mere humans to break sugar particles down into even smaller particles in order to decrease their meltable fat levels, chocolate is now more resilient than ever. This innovation practically fixes the only thing that’s ever been wrong with chocolate (other than its effects on one’s teeth or body when consumed in unwise amounts).

But how will the public react? We hate change almost as much as we love chocolate, so we’ll probably greet the evolution of our favorite sweet treat with a healthy degree of scrutiny. Chocolate is about innocence and deliciousness and holidays–when did you people have to drag science into it? (This maxim applies to all foods, of course, but we like to think chocolate is different.)

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Will MiO Change the Way We See Water?

For some reason we just can’t leave water alone. Most restaurants offer a choice of tap water or sparkling water–and then there’s the endless debate about environmentally-unfriendly bottled water.

Here to change the game entirely is MiO, the “liquid water enhancer” currently blowing up the Millennial demographic. Adding flavors to water is nothing new, of course, but the packaging and marketing of Mio has significantly affected the way consumers of every age view water consumption.

Sure, you’ve got lemonade mix and chocolate powder and flavored waters of every variety and combination, but Mio—olds in small, transportable packages—won’t be confined to your kitchen counter or glass pitchers mixed with wooden spoons. The product is a concentrated liquid ready to be squirted into your water source, making it ideal for teens looking to establish a cool factor at cafeteria tables and school sidewalks. The market campaign features animated animals called “Millen-imals” that are just as self-absorbed and obnoxious as real teenagers can be (come on, you know you were too).

Adults are next. In the wake of Mio’s success, mega-brands like Coca-Cola decided to delve into the liquid water enhancer market, and they’re currently exploring every potential niche in this nascent category. Mio, owned by Kraft, discovered marketing nirvana by creating an untapped behavior pattern that can appeal to anyone from kindergarteners looking to spruce up their lunches to time-strapped adults seeking a convenient way to add flavor to their glass of water (without adding any additional calories). Read more

Are You Snooty Enough for Grey Poupon?

Today we applaud the brilliant minds behind the coolest Facebook campaign in memory: Grey Poupon’s “The Society of Good Taste.”

The iconic Kraft condiment has long made snob appeal a big part of its brand–remember classic commercials like this one that ended with the tagline “But of course”? The selling point was similar to Fig Newton‘s “a cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake” campaign, but better (we always thought the fact that Newtons’ own packaging describes them as “fruit chewy cookies” made the spots less effective.)

When the brand wanted a truly unique campaign to spread their snooty reputation online, they turned to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the agency responsible for such iconic ads as the recent series starring a creepy Burger King mascot (an effort later dropped by the company).

Here’s how it works:

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Roll Call: Cision, Kraft, 360 Public Relations, and More

Cision‘s North American CEO, Joe Bernardo, has chosen early retirement and will be stepping down from his post, effective March 1. He’s been with the company for 13 years. Over the past year, he’s been shifting duties to Peter Granat, president and COO of Cision North America. Granat assumed that role in January 2011 after spending two years as CEO of Cision Europe. [via, h/t]

Perry Yeatman, head of global corporate and government affairs for Kraft for the past seven years, will step down from her post at the end of the year, following a spin-off of the company’s snack business. Nancy Daigler, the SVP of business unit corporate affairs will lead corporate and government affairs for the grocery division and Ernest Duplessis, VP of corporate communications, will serve as VP of corp comms for the snack division. [via Holmes Report]

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Kraft is Bringing You the “Golden Voice” of Love

Happy V-Day folks. Are you feeling the love? Maybe the smooth sounds of Ted “Golden Voice” Williams talking about some mac & cheese will make your day a little brighter?

In 2011, Williams became a sensation when he was discovered by a Columbus Dispatch reporter. From that day forward, for both Williams and Kraft, it was a “lemons to lemonade” story.

Today, Kraft is sharing that “golden voice” with all of us. Tweet him a message with the hashtag #voiceoflove and Williams will record the message. Kraft is also making a Mac & Cheese donation to Feeding America for each tweet received, up to 100,000 boxes.

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