- Kraft Macaroni and Cheese today launched a multichannel campaign aimed at destigmatizing the notion of comfort, including comfort food, per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive. It is the first standalone campaign from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese focused on the brand and an emotional message as opposed to the product, per the release.
- "Help Yourself" — a play on the portion size "helping" — features a #SkipChallenge on TikTok that asks consumers to illustrate how the cheesy product makes them feel by creating their own version of a joyous skip dance shown in the campaign's 30-second spot. The spot emphasizes the importance of pursuing comfortable things like mac and cheese and will run across social channels, TV, over-the-top (OTT) platforms and online video (OLV).
- The wellness-focused effort sees the CPG tapping digital pathways to virality in order to boost its new message.
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese's first standalone campaign asks consumers to rethink how they approach comfort and, by extension, comfort food — an oft-unhealthy category that typically encompasses mac and cheese. Citing the pressures of a fast-moving society that looks down upon comfort, the CPG is aiming to replace this negative connotation, instead emphasizing the importance of comfort as an act of self-care and "being honest about what makes you feel good," per the announcement. Wellness has increasingly been adopted in brands' marketing as the pandemic has drawn larger attention to issues of mental health.
Through the #SkipChallenge on TikTok, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is hoping to leverage virality in order to expand its message's reach. The challenge is directly inspired by the dance move featured in the campaign spot, which could potentially expose young TikTok users to the creative they would not have seen otherwise. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has previously seen success on the social video platform, but like other brands interested in young audiences, it is stepping up engagement with its own challenge.
While the TikTok generation is an important target, the underlying brand purpose of "Help Yourself" expands Kraft Macaroni and Cheese's overall audience beyond families and children, per the announcement. This tactic is reflected by the main characters in the spot — adults who are enjoying mac and cheese as much as the kids Kraft has previously emphasized in its marketing.
A shift away from domestic tropes is a strategy that other CPG brands have recently assumed. One of the key components of this trend is a sharper focus on emotional messaging, which Kraft Macaroni and Cheese explicitly highlights in its announcement.
"Help Yourself" is part of a larger "digital revolution marketing pilot" that Kraft Heinz is testing across its brands, per the announcement. Other recent efforts by the CPG giant, including a food-focused platform with celebrity chef Edward Lee, reflect its goal of reaching new audiences through relevant creative.