Kraft Peanut Butter’s once upon a time

How a focus on millennials, consumer research session and new brand platform led the Kraft line to write a kids' book.

Kraft Peanut Butter is getting into the branded content game. Sort of.

The Kraft Canada brand has released a new four-minute documentary, featuring a family of four who struggle to connect because of their busy lives. At the end of the video, the Kraft team surprises mom, Deborah Goldberg, with a personalized book written by Franklin author Paulette Bourgeois, with Goldberg’s daughters and husband contributing memories and pictures. 

The campaign is part of the brand’s “Stick Together” push launched last year, and the goal is to build the brand’s emotional connection with consumers – particularly millennials – says Amy Rawlinson, director of marketing for Kraft Peanut Butter.

She says Kraft, alongside agency partners Taxi 2, Studio M and Starcom, were hoping to humanize the brand.

It all started as they were doing consumer research, chatting with families in focus groups. They found the Goldberg family, who “were the living, breathing embodiment of our brand conviction,” says Rawlinson.

The brand started filming the family of four, partially for anthropological research, partially to turn the footage into content.

“Life is so busy, and it’s hard when you have two kids, full-time jobs, trying to make ends meet, we lose sight of what quality time means. It’s not about dance practices, it’s about enjoying the ride to dance.”

Rawlinson says they were inspired to create the children’s book (which Deborah Goldberg is invited to read on stage, before realizing at the end the book is about her), about mid-way through the 14-day filming cycle.

“We wanted to give Deborah a memento of how she’s the glue that sticks the family together,” she adds.

The campaign itself will be exclusively online, with support through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital channels. It was a significant digital media buy (where Kraft Canada is increasingly shifting its media budget), but Rawlinson hopes the emotional nature of the push will encourage sharing. The campaign will run for at least six weeks, with the brand open to revisiting paid support depending on how popular the campaign is.

The campaign will not be cut into a 60-second spot, she adds. “This is about taking the viewer on a journey, targeting moms who can relate to Deborah’s state of mind,” she says. “I can’t see any way to cut this four-minute video into a 60-second TV spot.”

The latest campaign follows the brand’s push last May, which featured a young girl and her teddy bear (the brand’s mascot) going through life before she herself has a young child. The teddy bears were so popular, it inspired Kraft to release a limited-edition stuffed bear for sale online and in stores. Rawlinson doesn’t rule out a similar execution, saying they would definitely consider rolling out customized story books ahead of Mother’s Day.

The goal of this campaign is to help build brand equity and iconography as well as establish relevancy, particular with the young millennial demo, she says, which is a key market for Kraft Canada as a whole. “They’re very attracted to brands that have a purpose,” she says. “It’s not just about having a product, it’s about being a brand that stands for something.” And for Peanut Butter, it wants to stand for taking moments to be with your family.

So far, the “Stick Together” platform seems to be working: despite being a category in decline (thanks in part of the surge of nut-free environments), losing 0.4% share last year, Kraft grew its household penetration 1.6% and has seen growth to its market share, which currently sits at more than 70%.