How the Kraft Heinz Company Leaves Room For Risk

Brands are tasked today with producing creative content that will resonate with their target audience. Kraft Heinz uses a data-driven approach that has resulted in favorable results, both economically and socially.

Catherine Roe, senior director of client partnerships at Oracle Data Cloud, sat down to discuss the importance of taking risks in marketing with two leaders of Kraft Heinz: Michelle St. Jacques, the head of U.S. Brand and R&D, and Magen Hanrahan, vice president of media and marketing services.

Hanrahan spoke on the necessity of finding the right person to target market to, providing them the right purchase and at the right price in order to be a successful brand.

St. Jacques then shared three examples of ways Kraft Heinz tries to win and be at the heart of culture, brands and food.

The first: earn attention through action. Children making lemonade is a rite of passage of childhood. However, kids were getting fined everywhere because they were selling lemonade without a permit. Kraft Heinz decided to fire back and provide “legalade” for children under Country Time Lemonade. Their action sparked over 1 billion media impressions and left many children protected legally. This risk was an example of earned attention and earned media.

Next: constantly hack culture. Hacking culture can be a difficult task, especially since Millennials can sniff out inauthentic media in seconds flat. St. Jacques spoke on how the company likes to insert themselves into popular culture because it is often a success with consumers. An example from the company is when they finally approved fictional Don Draper’s ‘Pass the Heinz’ ad from “Mad Men” and ran it across three ads. The cult following “Mad Men” has led to commercial success for Kraft Heinz, and it only cost the company under $200,000.

The third way Kraft Heinz attempts to win over their consumers: avoid indifference with a clear point of view. Kraft Mac and Cheese is a staple of the Kraft Heinz brand. After research, they realized that 74 percent of moms swear in front of their kids, compared to 55 percent of dads. That year for Mother’s Day, they ran the advertisement, showing that “you don’t have to be perfect to be great.” Kraft: Swear Like a Mother was a campaign that kept the brand relevant and authentic.

The company is constantly deciding and walking the line of what is more important when it comes to their advertisements: speed or perfection? One night on Twitter, the non-existent mayochup made its debut. To drive buzz for their new product, mayonnaise, Kraft Heinz jumped on the trend and released polls on Twitter. While mayochup did not even exist at this moment, it fueled the conversation about Kraft Heinz and their mayonnaise.

While all of the above examples have been huge successes, St. Jacques admitted that not everything the company has released had favorable outcomes. However, risk is a part of the triumph and failure in the marketing world.

“That’s a part of the culture we want to create, which is just people getting out there and trying because the worst thing is you just don’t try at all,” said St. Jacques.

Allysan Melby

Allysan Melby

Writer at Advertising Week
Ally is a junior at the University of Wisconsin- Madison in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, double tracking in reporting and strategic communication while earning a certificate in digital studies. After college, she hopes to work in Public Relations or in large company as a brand journalist. Ally is very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Advertising Week New York this year and hopes to return to New York after graduation.
Allysan Melby

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