Kraft’s 1986 ‘Growing Up’ reached great heights

Andrew Barrett, VP marketing for Molson brands, may be best known as the head marketer on Molson Canadian, but the spot that continues to fizz in his mind is a 1986 spot for Kraft Singles called 'Growing Up.' The spot, by J. Walter Thompson, Toronto, features a small boy reaching to put a letter in a mailbox; trying to hit a baseball; lugging a big grocery bag.

Andrew Barrett, VP marketing for Molson brands, may be best known as the head marketer on Molson Canadian, but the spot that continues to fizz in his mind is a 1986 spot for Kraft Singles called ‘Growing Up.’ The spot, by J. Walter Thompson, Toronto, features a small boy reaching to put a letter in a mailbox; trying to hit a baseball; lugging a big grocery bag.

…And the winner is Kraft Singles for:

touching all the bases

‘The song was amazing. [The ad] was beautifully photographed, capturing real human moments and had emotional connectivity to moms that I thought was superior,’ says Barrett. ‘It also did a wonderful job of incorporating a strong product point of difference [seven ounces of milk in every Kraft slice]. Usually it’s really difficult to do claims in advertising, but I thought this was done brilliantly.’

The spot worked so well that Kraft used it for three years. In 1994 the company launched a similar spot, also with the tagline ‘Good food to grow up on,’ this time featuring a child’s first day of school.

Inside Andrew Barrett

Q: What is your greatest goal as a marketer/advertiser?

A: To nurture or sustain market dominance for whatever brand I work on.

Q: If you weren’t in advertising/marketing, what would you be?

A: Helicopter ski guide.

Q: What’s the last book you read?

A: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six.

Q: How fast do you drive on the highway?

A: 124 kilometres/hour.

Where are they now?

The creative director, Marlene Hore, is now CD at Toronto’s The Ongoing Partnership. The copywriter, Leon Berger, is currently president of the product advisory board at Montreal-based Marketel. Paul Lavoie, president and CD of Taxi, was an art director. The spot was directed by the legendary Bill Irish.

Do you have an all-time favourite campaign? Send candidates to retro@strategymag.com. Some spots – and their advocates – will be featured in a future issue.