Crave turns frozen screen faces into coupons

In an era of stalled Zoom calls and demand for convenience, the Kraft Heinz brand says being frozen doesn't have to suck.

Kraft Heinz is capturing the spirit of the age, celebrating inadvertently frozen faces from video calls, as it looks to drive relevancy with younger demos on social.

On the anniversary of pandemic lockdowns, Kraft’s “Frozen Screen Face” campaign for Crave is being amplified on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, and features people stuck on camera with gaping maws or mid-sneeze.

Until March 22, Kraft Heinz is inviting users to share images of their own unflattering portraitures in exchange for one of 365 free Crave premium Frozen Meals. It’s also inviting consumers to share the best of their worst faces and tagging the brand for another chance to win a meal.

Brian Neumann, senior manager, brand build and innovation, Kraft Heinz Canada, tells strategy that with March marking the one-year anniversary of a shift to video calls thanks to COVID, the brand is looking to demonstrate that being frozen isn’t always a bad thing. “As the most delicious frozen meal, we saw an opportunity for Crave to tap into this universally relatable pain point and show the world that frozen doesn’t have to suck.”

According to Neumann, the brand is focusing on social channels where its younger core consumer is active. While Kraft is expanding its digital presence and exploring partnerships with online platforms, Neumann says broadcast TV could still play a role for Crave in the future.

Neumann says the frozen meals category has typically been marketed around convenience, but that premium-style Crave is looking to make taste more of a purchase driver as it expands into different day sets. “This year we launched two new breakfast meals and rebranded our existing breakfast offerings as All Day Breakfast to capture the growing consumer desire for delicious, convenient and savory breakfast options,” he says.

Crave is also part of Kraft Heinz’s Easy Meals Made Better platform, which CEO Miguel Patricio highlighted as part of its new operating model, and includes categories that have seen its strongest growth such as mac and cheese, pasta sauces and frozen pizza.

Frozen is an especially busy category during COVID, with established players like Dr. Oetker and Conagra building their presence to tap more occasions, but also challengers like Wholly Veggie entering the fray.

The “Frozen Screen Face” campaign was developed by Rethink, with Carat handling the media and The Colony Project on communications.