Kraft A Successful Marketing Campaign


If ever there was a marketing campaign that could resonate to my core – it is Kraft’s “Family Greatly” campaign.  

Many people find comfort in food, but I’ll be damned, I have found comfort in the manufacturer of food.  

For those that don’t know, Kraft kicked-off a new “Family Greatly” campaign at the end of last year with this video featuring interviews with parents and children that beautifully capture how imperfection is quite great in the eyes of our children.

It turns out our kids don’t notice if their food is organic, if mommy had to work late or if dad can’t figure out a hair band.  

It is a heartfelt, mascara-running, sentimental piece of marketing genius.

How I family greatly

My husband and I recently separated and began the process of divorce. Things have been different, to say the least.  

When we were married, as far as parenting goes, we made a pretty solid team. My husband would cook, and I'd do the cleaning; He'd read bedtime stories, and I'd give the kids their baths.  

Now, there’s fewer parent to go around, and we are all trying to adjust to new living situations, a co-parenting schedule, and a completely different family dynamic.  

To be honest, it’s really hard.

From one day to the next I run the full gamut of emotion. Some days I set the kids’ clothes out the night before school and draw cute hearts on the napkins that I tuck lovingly into their lunch boxes. On those days, I feel like a total boss of a mom.  

Then there are the days when the teacher sends a note home letting me know that I forgot, again, to fill out the entire homework sheet (why do these things need to be double-sided?!). Exit boss mom, enter self-hating mess of a mom.   

Listen; even when we were married, I was never a perfect mom. He was a never a perfect dad.  We were always just plain mom and dad doing our best to keep a couple of humans alive.

Of all the changes we have been facing – that’s one thing I can say has remained constant. We are still mom and dad; we are still doing our best, and we may not be perfect, but we’re still pretty damn great.  

We’ve all got a story, and kraft knows it

While my story may resonate with those who have been in a similar situation – others have a completely different, but still relevant, story of their own. And Kraft is well aware of that fact.  See, that’s the point – they’ve found a way to successfully relate to countless different families across the United States by recognizing and celebrating the fact that while we all may “family” differently (Kraft turned “family” into a verb – go with it), we are doing it well.   

The marketing team (Leo Burnett) didn’t just wake up one morning and say, I know – we’ll celebrate the fact that we all fall short of perfection but that’s what makes us perfect. The reality is that a helluva lot of research and planning went into the development of this strategy.

As part of the research, Kraft engaged the company, Toluna, to survey 1000 parents and 1000 kids across the United States to find out how they feel about family, togetherness, and mealtimes.  

They learned that 8 out of 10 parents feel pressure to be perfect while 4 out of 5 kids would prefer to have a great parent than a perfect parent. They learned that 95% of parents believe that we should all “family” the way we see fit as long as we do it with love and conviction; and that 86% of parents agree that how we “family” is great. Further, they found that an overwhelming number of both parents and children believe that meal times bring families closer together.

Once they gathered the data, Kraft was able to leverage it to create a clever and creative theme for the initiative. They’ll use this theme across a variety of campaigns, for extended lengths of time, through a variety of media – touching their audience at multiple different points all the while telling the same story: American families are less than perfect, but perfection is over-rated; We’d rather be great than perfect.

A variety of campaigns? I thought “family greatly” was the campaign?

It is. Sort of. Family Greatly is the overarching theme for the campaign. See, a marketing campaign is not a stand-alone advertisement, a one-off email blast or a single social media update. It’s a specific series of audience touches that occur over an extended period that together tell one cohesive story across a variety of media.

If you are a football lover, look at it like, if the strategy is the game plan; then the campaign is the play.  

Kraft’s game plan is to engage with their audience through the recognition and celebration of less than perfect family life (Family Greatly). There could be several different plays at different times of the game – but each play will be strategically set to achieve the objective set forth by the game plan.  

You feel me?

A campaign krafted to cut through holiday noise

This past June, Kraft set out to launch a campaign that would break through the noise of the Father’s Day Season. To stand out among all the brands fighting to get noticed they needed a tactic that would engage, incentivize and promote.  

They decided they’d generate buzz through auctioning custom cheese sculptures consumers could have made in dad’s likeness, with proceeds from the sale going to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Not only would they donate 100% of proceeds, but Kraft raised their cheesy incentive with a dollar-for-dollar donation to Feeding America.  

The brand officially started the sale of cheese sculptures on eBay the Monday right before Father’s day (6/11/18). The auction was live for one day, closing out the following afternoon.  

With such a tight sales window, they needed to ensure that consumers knew when the sale would officially start. Kraft announced their plans via press release, targeting food, lifestyle and parenting media outlets, as well as significant broadcast and trade outlets.  

In addition to the media push, Kraft implemented paid, targeted social media advertising (on Twitter and Instagram) to promote the hashtag #FamilyGreatly.

The proof is in the pudding

The Kraft Father’s Day campaign generated 445 media placements across print, web, and broadcast media outlets, including USA Today, Yahoo, People, and Fox News.

Social media content for the campaign had a 2.18% engagement rate on Instagram (measured by likes, favorites, comments, and shares).

As far as the money goes – between the proceeds from the auction and the brand’s dollar-for-dollar match, Kraft donated upwards of $18,000 to Feeding America.  

The lesson

Create a killer marketing campaign and then donate all proceeds to a charity of your choice.  

Just kidding, we’re small businesses, we likely can’t do that (although, we do love a solid opportunity to give back).

The real truth of the matter is that most small businesses don't have Kraft caliber marketing budgets. Guess what? That’s OK!

Your budget might not be perfect, but you can still market greatly.   

From Kraft’s “Family Greatly” strategy we learned that a successful marketing campaign will include these six essential elements:

•    Comprehensive research and planning

•    Clearly defined audience (who are you speaking to?)

•    Value proposition (Does your audience have a problem? Can you fix it?)

•    An incentive to take action (Call to Action)

•    Clear delivery Method. (How will you get your message out?)

•    Metrics (Measure your results!)

Pay attention to these larger brands; leverage their research for your benefit, adapt their techniques into your business strategy and continue to move that needle forward.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to join my family for some Kraft Mac & Cheese. Bon appetit!

Denise Lee.png

Meet the Author: Denise Lee

Denise the Director of Marketing for a midsize commercial law firm in New York City and the creator of iDeaLee, a marketing consultancy dedicated to helping professional services companies execute marketing strategies that blow the mind not the budget. In her spare time, she is hell bent on making an impact on the world in a kickass positive way, celebrating and advocating for women. She is the Alliances Committee Chair for the National Association of Women Business Owners – NYC Chapter and is a contributing writer to Women on Business.  She has been described by colleagues as a “bright, proactive, high-energy leader who thinks creatively and acts decisively.”

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