Kraft on March 28 generated considerable buzz with an experiment to include tweets about macaroni and cheese in TV ads on the same day they were tweeted. The spots ran during TBS's late-night talk shows "Conan" and "Lopez Tonight," and the same marketing sequence was repeated the following day and night.
In an effort led by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a total of 10 commercials were produced in two days. (Watch one version below.) Two of them appeared on TBS, while the remaining eight have been available on Kraft's Facebook page for its "Macaroni & Cheese" product line. Kraft called the initiative "Mac & Cheese TV."
ClickZ reached out to Noelle O'Mara, senior brand manager for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and asked her about the unusual campaign. Here are excerpts from the Q&A:
ClickZ: What is the key marketing goal behind Mac & Cheese TV?
Noelle O'Mara: Engaging our fans in the digital space, where they are most active, has become increasingly important in reaching the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese consumer. Unconventional social media programs, such as Mac & Cheese TV, enable us to continue to have a two-way dialogue with them.
CZ: Why is infusing tweets into TV spots good marketing for the brand?
NM: Our creative ideas are always inspired by how our consumer uses, thinks about, and relates to our brand. There is nothing more "real-time" about how our consumer does this than through Twitter.
CZ: What metrics did you pay attention to in order to deem whether or not Monday and Tuesday night's TBS ads were a success? What does the sentiment data say about people's reactions on Twitter and Facebook to the Mac & Cheese TV spots aired?
NM: While we consider our campaign analysis proprietary, we are tracking consumer awareness and engagement with both the brand and the program. Initial read of the program has been very positive already generating 10 [million] impressions and receiving very positive feedback from our fans. In addition, I can tell you that there was genuine excitement from the consumers whose tweets were turned into commercials. They shared additional mac & cheese stories with the brand and their friends, who in turn passed on the word about how they knew a new mac & cheese celebrity.
CZ: Does Kraft plan on running more tweets in TV spots?
NM: At this point, there are no plans to air the commercials at a later date.
CZ: Is Kraft doing anything similar on Twitter or Facebook with its other brands?
NM: This is a first-of-its-kind social media to advertising initiative for the iconic Kraft Macaroni & Cheese brand. Many of Kraft Foods' brands are building a social media presence and are continually discovering new ways to connect that works best for the brand and its consumers... At Kraft Foods, we have an opportunity to approach old challenges in new ways through social media, interactive tools and technology that is advancing by the minute.
CZ: The Macaroni & Cheese brand appears to have found a marketing home on Twitter. What is it about the demographics on the microblogging site that led Kraft to utilize a Twitter-heavy strategy?
NM: As the social media landscape has grown, we have taken notice that our core Kraft Macaroni & Cheese consumer has also become active in this space. Unlike traditional mediums, through Facebook and Twitter, we are able to have a two-way dialogue with our fans and create and strengthen our community of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese lovers, which has become increasingly important. Programs like the recent launch of the innovative "Mac & Jinx" Twitter program - which rewarded individuals with product and t-shirts who simultaneously tweeted about the product - allowed us to successfully engage our consumers in real-time.
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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