I just hurried over to Facebook to like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Why in such a rush, you may ask? Well, because I just had the most earth-shatteringly delicious batch of mac and cheese, of course. Actually, that isn’t true, although it sounds fantastic and that may be my next step. The real reason? This article. I’ve always loved Kraft, and their mac and cheese is pretty much a staple in my kitchen for when I’m feeling less than creative. Let’s surpass my swooning over these new delightful flavors, and get right to the point of the blog: advertising. This campaign covers everything. From video and radio to social media, Kraft has it covered; it even has its own website (a pretty cool one, I might add)! While the ads may seem a little cheesey (insert chuckle here), that’s entirely the point. They have even given it a name: “new-stalgic.” They have created a whole history for these brand new flavors so that their customers will feel a timeless connection to the new products just as they feel for the 75 year old brand.



I was pretty surprised by this video (from this article today in Adweek), despite the fact that I knew what was happening.

What is your opinion of this so-called “prankvertising”?

Comment with your thoughts!

UPDATE 9/9/13: My teacher just shared this blog post regarding this advertisement, which discusses an entirely different concept as a possible followup to this advertisement or other “prankvertising” in general, which turns a simple viral video into inbound marketing and draws in even more potential customers.

UPDATE: One Day Later – “Monkey See, Monkey Do”

Just last night, I posted some updates on the Cheerios “Just Checking” commercial in my post “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Today, I stumbled upon an article in AdWeek which shows Cheerios’s first commercial since this controversial spot in May along with some commentary on the Cheerios brand which I found interesting. It looks like comments on this video have not yet been disabled, though some commenters note the switch back to the stereotypical media portrayal of an all-white American family. One commenter shows frustration with the switch, saying, “So sad to see Cheerios fold to peer pressure… to appease hateful individuals. I guess its clear what target market is Cheerios aiming for.” Others appreciate advertisement for what it is: “Beautiful. Very touching.” Others still hold a grudge for the last commercial: “A European family having breakfast together such a beautiful thing. But the damage is done and irreversibly damaged your brand for ever. We never forgive and never forget.”

Will this commercial take Cheerios back to the down-low, as they prefer? Or will they continue to blow up our newsfeeds? Only time will tell.

“Monkey See, Monkey Do”

I recently posted another blog that referenced controversy in advertising (Conversation Starters). Today, I decided to check back on another recent advertisement that caused an uproar, this Cheerios commercial, which I find absolutely adorable.

However, this commercial was so controversial that Cheerios had to disable comments for the video on YouTube. In my search, I found two interesting reactionary videos. The first is a spoof off of the original with not only one, but two controversial surprises for the “haters.”

The second is an attempt to restore our hope in humanity by featuring children’s reactions to the original video.

Clearly, I’m a Nerd

Okay, so I enjoyed my homework project last night  to the point where I continued doing it after I’d finished the assignment. It was an assignment for my Advertising Research class where we experimented with VALS (psychographic) and PRIZM (psychographic/geodemographic). Because I’m an easily excited nerd, I just wanted to share my findings and thoughts for the PRIZM research.

I’m from a fairly small town in the suburbs in Maryland. I frequently describe this suburban town as a bubble, as nearly everyone fits a very stereotypical image, which are perfectly described by our five segments: Blue Blood Estates, Brite Lites Li’l City, Movers and Shakers, Upper Crust and Winner’s Circle. Highlights include our “manicured lawns, high-end cars and exclusive private clubs,” which perfectly describes the neighborhood adjacent to mine. They have a clubhouse and a golf course, and most residents are middle aged with or without kids, with six-figure incomes and graduate or post-graduate degrees. The most popular car, I believe, would be the Lexus, which is predicted in the description of the Upper Crust segment. Nearby, we have the “upscale mall” with stores like Crate & Barrel, Ann Taylor and Nordstrom. Locally, we have the small businesses, predicted in Movers and Shakers. Most homes in our area include one, if not two, home offices. Many people in our community enjoy skiing, eating out, shopping and travelling (and bragging about it).

It seems that PRIZM has my area stereotyped to a tee. They know that people living in my area have money and they are willing to spend it on high-end products and services. They know that we are educated and very settled into our lives here. They know to position products to a very image-centric crowd as upscale, “cool” and greatly desirable. Good products to advertise include luxury vehicles, expensive kitchenware, home furnishings and clothing, especially from boutiques. They can also advertise recreational activities such as golf and travel, as most are wealthy and many are retired. Good places to advertise include business magazines and newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal.

Since this was my first research class, I must say that until this point I had severely underestimated the abilities of advertising research, and I am excited to learn more about what research can do.

Branding: The Name Game

In the past, my jobs have usually required me to wear a uniform, or if not, simply to look “nice.” I have never had a job that has required me to put effort into looking and dressing a certain way in order to maintain a prescribed brand image. I stumbled upon this article last week, conveniently at the same time that I was considering applying to my local Anthropologie store, and found it very intriguing. Luckily, Anthropologie is not on the list of employers who require photographs during the application process. However, I came to realise as I scoured my closet for interview clothes that were a perfect balance between professional and Anthro-esque, that it is more difficult, and more important, than I thought.

Other thoughts? Post in the comments!

Mixing it Up

Ever get tired of seeing advertisements for home and cleaning products targeted blatantly to women? Tide+Downy understands this frustration and catches everyone’s eye with this ad, especially that of underappreciated at-home fathers.