Kraft Heinz Canada donates its ads to small businesses

The CPG uses its peanut butter brand's "Stick Together" positioning to amplify restaurants' delivery and takeout services.

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Kraft Heinz Canada is putting aside creative for its peanut butter brand to instead urge Canadians to “stick together” with small businesses – and it’s using some of its marketing assets to help the cause.

Kraft Heinz had another ad it had planned to be in market during this time for Kraft Peanut Butter, but decided to scrap it in favour of one that will be offering free content and paid amplification to restaurants and bakeries offering takeout and delivery during the pandemic.

On social, video and photo content explains that Kraft Peanut Butter is giving its ad space to small businesses, which are given a chance to explain for themselves what they offering during this time and how they can get it to customers.

The campaign will be running for the next several weeks, and Kraft Peanut Butter is calling on Canadians to share the names of local shops they would like to have featured by commenting on campaign posts on its social media properties tagged with “#StickTogether.” According to the brand, “The more we #StickTogether during these tough times, the stronger we will be once things are smooth again.”

Daniel Gotlib, senior brand manager, brand building and innovation, for Kraft Heinz Canada, says it wants to put its media weight behind helping small businesses with their messaging, as many are still delivering, but might not always have the marketing means to tell their communities.

“Canadians don’t need to see another peanut butter ad today, but they do want to show support for these local owners who need it, and we want to help,” he says.

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“Sticking Together” has been Kraft Peanut Butter’s brand ethos for a number of years, and while Gotlib says that has typically been in the form of keeping consumers connected to each other and their communities, he points out extending that concept to the small business that are vital to communities was “a natural extension.”

In addition to the small business campaign, Kraft Heinz Canada is working with Food Banks Canada, which has seen a surge in demand during the pandemic, part of $12 million in contributions by the CPG company to food banks globally. Gotlib says that Kraft Heinz Canada has had a 20-year partnership with the organization, and it has enhanced its efforts by donating an undisclosed amount of additional dry goods, baby food and peanut butter for COVID-19 relief.

Kraft Heinz Canada’s AORs are managing the campaign: Rethink led creative and production, Starcom will drive awareness and The Colony Project is managing public relations. The bakeries and small businesses will receive access to Rethink to develop their ad content and Starcom to provide paid amplification across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Colony will also be conducting earned media relations in each small business’ local community.

The fact that small businesses are less able than major companies to survive the struggles brought on by the pandemic has become an economic focal point across Canada. Agencies have encouraged brands to donate what might be otherwise unused ad space to small businesses, while some brands have been encouraging customers to buy gift cards to provide them with short-term cash flow, such as Molson Coors for its bar and restaurant partners.

Today, shoe brand Vans launched “Foot the Bill,” where it is letting local brands in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon and Halifax to produce custom-designed Vans Classic Slip-on or Era shoes, an initiative that is being replicated in markets globally. Proceeds from sales of the shoes are going directly to the businesses, targeted to ones like independent skate shops, surf shops, restaurants, music venues and community-driven spaces that tend to be most associated with the brand.

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