Kraft Heinz to debut its first Canadian Olympic campaigns

KD and Kraft Peanut Butter will roll out initiatives that embrace both the cheesy and sweet sides of the Games.

Kraft Heinz Canada is preparing to launch its first-ever partnership with Team Canada, with two of its flagship brands taking two slightly different approaches to supporting Canadian Olympians.

Kraft Dinner, a brand that has been known for embracing its “cheesiness,” is backing Evan Dunfee, a Canadian Olympian in what some might regard as a bit of a cheesy sport – race walking.

The deal gives Dunfee, a fourth-place finisher at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and a bronze medalist at the 2019 World Championships, full sponsorship perks, announced online with a press conference, complete with a Gold KD-branded medal and an “ED” logo in the style of KD’s branding.

But while the announcement does feature a degree of self-awareness about how some might regard the prestige of race walking, the associated 360-degree campaign – teased by the brand to be launching next week – will be encouraging Canadians to show solidarity with all athletes, as getting across an Olympic finish line is a major accomplishment, regardless of the sport.

According to Brian Neumann, Kraft Heinz’s associate director of brand build and innovation, when it came across Dunfee, it “saw how he perfectly embodied the ‘KD Spirit’ of unapologetically pursuing your passion.”

To that end, the digital side of the campaign will feature Dunfee and a roaster of micro-influencers showing Canadians ways to get their steps in too, and new kits featuring “KD X ED” merch will be distributed to Canadians who share particularly inventive videos on social.

Meanwhile, a digital-first Kraft Peanut Butter experience will record users’ cheers on its Stick Together website, which the brand will then transform into custom playlists for athletes to listen to – something that will go a long way now that it has become clear that the Olympic stands will be empty, due to the pandemic.

It’s built around the Kraft Peanut Butter‘s “stick together” messaging, which has been used to get people virtually closer together, such as by transmitting bear hugs nationwide.

Daniel Gotlib, associate brand manager for Kraft Peanut Butter at Kraft Heinz Canada, says the brand gives people a feeling and comfort of home and also champions togetherness, and that there was such a natural opportunity for it to create this deep connection between fans and athletes.

As part of the campaign, Kraft Peanut Butter has teamed up with Olympians Meaghan Benfeito, Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who will bring the campaign, dubbed “Your Cheers. Their Ears,” to life through a multifaceted campaign featuring TV, digital, social, PR and influencers.

Both campaigns were developed by Rethink, with Carat handling the media and The Colony Project handling PR and influencers.