Philly falls from heaven into the Sympatico kitchen

Kraft's Philadelphia Cream Cheese has launched a series of online cooking videos with a unique overlay that reflects its new digital strategy, explains brand manager Farrah Bezner.

In a series of Cooking With Philly instructional videos on, a tiny set of angel wings appears on a spoon, flitting across the screen as an overlay. It’s not just a whimsical detail, but a subtle sign that the video is part of Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s ‘Heaven’ campaign, a digital extension of its strategy to promote cream cheese as a staple cooking ingredient.

If a viewer clicks on the spoon while watching the cooking show on’s Lifestyle channel, the big-box ad unit beside it switches from an ad to the recipe featured in the show. Seven videos were shot for the special section, developed in collaboration by MediaVest and Sympatico, and launched last week.

Only four are currently streaming on the site, while the other three will roll out in the fall, placed within a series of banner ads, explains Farrah Bezner, senior product manager at Kraft Canada.

‘Part of our digital strategy is showing up where consumers may not expect to find us, but are looking for content and looking for recipe ideas – so modernizing the brand because it’s not necessarily something that you would expect from a brand that’s older and established,’ Bezner says.

However, she says that the ‘Heaven’ strategy is not abandoned. The brand’s TV ads still feature the curly-haired angel and a man servant, but they’re placed in a cooking show setting. The print ads have a blue background and spoon with angel wings, maintaining a consistent message. However ‘we’ve really upped the food imagery and recipe content,’ Bezner says. Ad creative for the brand is handled by Toronto-based JWT.

In mid-2008, the marketing strategy for Philly shifted from promoting the spread’s use on traditional bagels and cheesecakes to main-course dishes. This year, the brand is focusing on using Philly in recipes for chicken, pasta, pizza and desert. The strategy is well-reflected on the Lifestyle channel, where recipes that include cream cheese fill the recipe section and Philly-branded billboard and banner ads appear throughout – an example of the engaging content collaboration that the brand was aiming for.

‘Consumers know how to put cream cheese on their bagel and they use it in cheesecakes all the time,’ Bezner says. ‘But if we wanted to really grow the brand we knew that we had to do something different.’