Kraft Peanut Butter sticks with connectivity

A new campaign uses techy teddy bears to bridge "emotional distance" between loved ones.

The bears are back in Kraft Peanut Butter’s latest “Stick Together” campaign, signaling the evolution of the brand’s use of technology in its marketing strategy.

Developed by agency Rethink, the campaign shows a father sending his son away to summer camp. Despite their distance, they manage to maintain a connection through their matching, wirelessly connected Kraft teddy bears, which light up when the other being hugged.

Kraft Peanut Butter has been making the iconic teddy bears from its packaging a major part of its advertising in recent years, with Rethink creative director Mike Dubrick calling them an “instantly recognizable brand link” that they wanted to continue to make a key feature of this year’s campaign.

In the fall, Kraft and Rethink honed in on covering the distance between loved ones as a focus in the “Canada-wide Bear Hug” campaign. It featured two connected, 10-foot tall bears — one in Toronto and another in Vancouver — that lit up when they were hugged in either city.

That campaign also introduced a technological angle to  the 50-year-old brand’s marketing. Dubrick called that a “powerful next step,” adding that the idea driving this particular campaign was how technology could help bring the relatability of feeling far away from a loved one to life.

“Last year was really all about demonstrating just how much distance you can cover with a hug,” Dubrick says. “We started to realize was that distance isn’t always measured in kilometres —  it can be emotional too.”