We all recognize Kraft as the curators responsible for the glorious mac and cheese we all know and love from our childhood. Yet, they have recently released a slightly racy ad campaign that may have rocked the boat a little too far for their main market: families with children. While their ad was geared towards young adults, the ad offended enough parents that the ad campaign was removed.
Kraft’s main goal for the campaign stated that due to the ongoing pandemic, “families and friends are looking for ways to offer love and comfort from a safe distance. For some, that may be sending flowers or a thoughtful card, but for real comfort, we know the best way to show your love is to send noods – Kraft Mac & Cheese noods that is.”
Ad images of blurred bowls of macaroni and cheese with the words “send noods” were posted, encouraging their consumers to visit the website “www.enjoynoods.com” in order to redeem a free box of Mac and cheese to send to anyone they like.
This new approach is the work of a new agency hired by Kraft in an effort for the brand to become more culturally hip and aware. They may have fallen flat on their first attempt.
The idea of sending a box of Kraft mac and cheese to anyone you admire is surely a new concept, and the play on words was clever and may have been wildly successful if their main consumers were only adults. However, Kraft’s attempt to expand their reach to young adults with some “adult-friendly” humor fell flat, as their main consumers are, in fact, families with children. Adding in the fact that many of these parent consumers mainly buy Kraft Mac and cheese as a meal for their kids, the ad received immediate backlash and removal.
Social media comments and messages regarding the ad encouraged consumers to boycott the brand with the hashtag #CancelKraft, accusing the brand of going too far with too little recourse. The brand did remove the ad and the attached website, and they released a public comment on the controversy, thanking their audience for their feedback. This is a learning opportunity for brands who cannot forget that while they want to be popular and viral, they must acknowledge who their products and services are made for in the process.
What do you think about the ad campaign? Did it go too far? Let us know at @TXADPR!