KD dives into a new creative platform

"Cheese the Moment" forgoes experience-obsessed millennial marketing to position the brand as familiar and comforting.

kd2

KD seems to be maturing a bit, developing a new creative platform that shows how a night in can be just as much of a worthwhile experience as going out on an adventure.

The first spot in the “Cheese the Moment” platform, created by Taxi 2, pokes fun at the countless ads that focus on the unique experiences and fun-filled nights some focus groups and consumer research say millennials crave above all else. It begins with a group of young, trendy-looking people sneaking around at night looking for some kind of spontaneous adventure, until they reach their destination and realize they’d much rather stay home (the party they’ve “already paid cover to. It’s called rent,” says the narrator in the spot). While still attempting to strike a humorous chord, the new creative is a clear departure from the wacky, sometimes absurd, style of some past mass Kraft Dinner campaigns.

The video, as well as a 15-second version, have begun airing on TV. In addition to the spot, the new platform comes with a digital buy that launched two weeks ago, as well as new social content later this month. Starcom handled media for the campaign.

In the summer, Kraft Heinz condensed the “Kraft Dinner” name, officially changing it to the “KD” nickname Canadians had affectionately been using for years. The move was an effort to build relevance among millennials, which had been softening despite consistently high market share, by strengthening the connection to their childhoods. The new campaign, which comes following a great deal of consumer research and testing, is again trying to reinforce that connection, but in a way that recognizes “childhood” doesn’t necessarily mean “childish” or “silly.”

“The strong connection between KD and childhood for consumers is not a new insight. Anyone could have told us that,” says Anat Cole, senior brand manager for meals at Kraft Heinz Company. “What’s new here is how we went deeper into that same insight. In the past, we’ve interpreted that connection to be more sophomoric and silly and quirky. Today, we’ve found through research that an appealing part of the connection is the warm certainty KD offers. The road more travelled is more travelled for a reason, and consumers want that sometimes, even though a lot of brands shy away from that.”

Prior to her recent move to the meals portfolio at Kraft Heinz, previously Kraft Foods Canada, Cole had worked on a number of different brands within the company as they re-positioned to focus more on deep, emotional insights, such as Cracker Barrel or Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Over the past two years, several of Kraft’s more “iconic” brands have launched new platforms to reflect more of the “big magnetic ideas” that speak to connections Canadians have with decades-old products.

“KD feels likes it’s on the verge of one of those crossroads that those other brands were at,” Cole says. “Evolving is something consumers expect and is the price of doing business as a brand today. Especially for brands that have been around forever, we can’t take a break and rest on our legacy. It’s important to change with the times, or we become obsolete.”

Cole says the new platform has tested well with all members of the millennial demographic, but it is especially focused on millennial parents, whose late-night adventure days might soon be behind them, if they aren’t already. Cole says the platform isn’t discounting research that shows how important experiences and spontaneity are to millennial consumers, rather it provides a fuller view of their values.

“What became apparent in our research was that people still need comfort. There’s a time and place for moving into that excitement of the moment, but there’s also a time and place to go with something that’s more of a crowd-pleaser,” Cole says. “Some millennials are also growing up and having kids and becoming young parents, or are getting close to that stage in their life. It’s important in everything we do, we make sure it accounts for how they are growing up and their values are evolving.”