Kraft’s Canada-wide bear hug

The peanut butter brand goes big with its bears ahead of the holiday season.

Kraft Peanut butter is championing connectedness with a new digital campaign centred on the power of a bear hug.

It focuses on a recent consumer activation, based on the insight with more tech – and less time – in our lives, Canadians aren’t as connected physically as we used to be, says Nina Patel, director of marketing, brand build and innovation at Kraft Heinz Company.

To capture that concept, the brand set up two 10-foot-tall versions of its iconic Crunchy and Smoothy bear mascots, with one in Toronto and the other in Vancouver. As passersby hugged one bear, the other’s bowtie would light up (and the brand took it a step further with one family).

Content from the stunt is now being used in a social and PR campaign across English Canada.

“We know that they’re a symbol of togetherness and nostalgia in Canada,” Patel says of the bears, which have featured prominently in the brand’s “Stick Together” marketing. Building brand purpose has been Kraft’s goal for the past several years and it’s now doing so through “digitally-driven acts” versus a more traditional brand sell approach, she says.

Its goal is also to be more contextually relevant. The campaign comes ahead of the holiday season, when most Canadians say spending time with loved ones is important, but when we’re often separated by distance, Patel says.

The campaign also includes a contest component, where Canadians who use “#KraftBearHugs” on social to share who they’d give their own bear hug to can get a chance to win a pair of Wi-Fi enabled bears.

Kraft worked with Rethink – its new AOR for its peanut butter brand – on creative, Edelman on PR and Starcom on media.