CASSIES Bronze: Kraft shows the joys of guilty pleasures

"Shamefully Good" celebrated how adults (not just kids and students) enjoyed the iconic meal too.

Packaged Goods

Situation Analysis: Kraft Dinner was at a standstill in Quebec with flat sales over the previous four years. Being shelf-stable, inexpensive and easy to prepare, it was often considered to be “student food,” limiting consumption to time-pressed young adults and young families. This maintained sales over time but limited growth potential. The goal was to increase year-over-year sales for the flagship product, the 225g box.

Insight & Strategy: Despite increased competition from premium macaroni and cheese brands and low-cost private label brands, KD was holding its own with high awareness and familiarity in Quebec, but brand equity was suffering. A deep dive into the consumer psyche highlighted that, while macaroni and cheese was a commodity product, with competitors offering premium and private label variations, none of these brands had the emotional equity of Kraft Dinner. The challenge was to re-engage former Kraft Dinner-loving adults; they still loved Kraft Dinner, they were just too ashamed to admit it, which led to the strategic positioning of “Shamefully Good” (Coupable d’être bon).

Execution: The communication strategy focused on calling out the ubiquity of people’s love of Kraft Dinner so that everyone would know they’re not alone, showcasing everyday people whom no one would ever expect to eat Kraft Dinner. The integrated campaign was rolled out from late May 2013 across out-of-home and print, as well as a TV spot and a stunt.

In the print work, the 225g Original Kraft Dinner box was used as a censor bar to cover the eyes of non-typical adult Kraft Dinner consumers to hide them from public scrutiny. To quickly gain traction in the province, Dany Turcotte, a well-known Quebec comedian, was one of the featured Kraft Dinner consumers. The television spot featured an affluent man enjoying Kraft Dinner at home alone and then sneaking the empty box into his neighbour’s recycling bin so no one would know it was his.

Results: Against a target of increasing Kraft Dinner Original 225g box baseline unit sales by 15% from May 2013 to April 2014, sales increased 15.4% versus the previous year and 19.7% versus the average of the previous four years over the course of the campaign. Most of the growth occurred within the first three months.

Cause & Effect: By using baseline unit sales, any effects of in-store pricing reductions, co-op advertising, or display activity are eliminated, as are price increases and variances in trade dollars. No other pack sizes or brand extensions were included in the results. Additionally, there was no Quebec-based, marketing-communication support for other pack sizes or brand extensions that could have had a halo effect on the 225g box. The only additional support the campaign received was through organic market visibility. When appearing on Quebec’s number one show Tout le monde en parle, Dany Turcotte was greeted with a bowl of Kraft Dinner and a pair of glasses that mimicked the Kraft Dinner censor bar, leading to Kraft Dinner trending on Twitter.

Client: Kraft Canada
Brand director: Kristen Eyre
Agency: Taxi
ECD: Dominique Trudeau
AD: Nicolas Rivard
CW: Martin Charron
Strategic planner: Fanny Chabot
Client services: Rachel McGibbon, Rachel Desbiens-Després
Director of production: Jacques Latreille
TV production: Èmilie Trudeau
Mac artist: Èric Lefevre
Print production: Sophie Carrières
Media agency: MediaVest
Production house: 401
Sound studio: Sonart