There’s a very funny New York Times story on Kraft mounting a major advertising campaign for Kraft Singles, which have suffered—if that’s the word—declining sales in recent years. Kraft isn’t reviving its FTC-violating ads, which juxtaposed a Single and a glass of milk and claimed that each cheese slice contained “five ounces of milk” (a judge pointed out, very dryly, that the ads contained false “calcium superiority and milk equivalency claims”). Instead, the company has launched a campaign “to the glorification of the grilled cheese sandwich” by pushing the theme “Have a happy sandwich.”
Happily, I’m not making this up. Apparently, selling Kraft Singles on their “functional benefits” wasn’t working anymore; the advertising had to have an “emotional level.” Hence: the happy sandwich. But don’t dump your Prozac yet. The “global executive creative director” from the company that’s handling the account, Nitro, explains that there’s a strict time limit on that happiness:
‘We’re not promising happiness; no brand can,’ Ms. Delaney said. ‘What we’re promising is that for the three or four minutes you’re having a Kraft grilled cheese sandwich, you’re happy.’
So that’s what that feeling was. The campaign is based on the inevitable MySpace contest: Users will “create video clips that celebrate grilled cheese”; the winner gets $50,000 but, confusingly, no cheese. Competition thus far is less than intense: The MySpace page includes the poignant sentence, “Kraft has 1 friends.” (Tom, 31, Santa Monica.) Kraft itself turns out to be 17, male, and a resident of the United States—and also, not to boast, in my extended network.