Kraft Singles squares up with Kelis on culture play

    • Kraft Singles launched a Singles Single campaign, teaming with singer-songwriter Kelis to release a song titled “Square It” on Spotify and other streaming platforms, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
    • On “Square It,” Kelis — the “Milkshake” musician who is also a trained chef — sings about how Kraft Singles can be used in the kitchen. The effort is the first activation of the brand’s Square It platform, which seeks to expand the brand’s identity beyond an ingredient in familiar meals like grilled cheese.
    • The campaign comes as Kraft looks to insert its brand into pop culture as it attempts to build on double-digit sales growth that was spurred by the pandemic.

    Kraft Singles is the latest Kraft Heinz brand to launch a campaign that attempts to tie its product to pop culture in a creative way as the marketer — like other CPGs — seeks to reinvigorate legacy brands for new consumer groups. By releasing a song about different ways to use Kraft Singles, the brand hopes to shift its brand identity from marketing that focuses on generic, functional insights, per details emailed to Marketing Dive.

    “The Square It campaign is all about taking Kraft Singles out of the kitchen and bringing the brand into pop culture as we look for new ways to engage with our fans. As a result of the COVID pandemic, Kraft Singles has seen double digit growth for the first time in five years,” Kylea Pittrich, senior associate brand manager for Kraft American Slices, said in a statement.

    The first Singles Single is a collaboration with singer-songwriter Kelis, who is best known for bringing the boys to her yard with 2003 hit “Milkshake.” Along with her musical career — which also includes 2014 album “Food” — Kelis trained at Le Cordon Bleu, released a cookbook and debuted her own line of sauces. In that way, the team-up makes an authentic connection with pop culture, a key to successful music-based marketing.

    Kraft Heinz has worked to build on other pandemic-spurred growth with campaigns and branding efforts that are oriented around culture. Along with refreshes of its Heinz and Oscar Mayer lines, the marketer in January introduced an Oscar Mayer-branded, “bologna-inspired” face mask that poked fun at the self-care space. The campaign generated online buzz and the product quickly sold out.

    Over the next 18 months, Kraft Heinz plans to transform 80% of its portfolio as it seeks to modernize its brands, per details emailed to Marketing Dive. The effort will be fueled by a $100 million increase in marketing spend that prioritizes “anti-advertising” campaigns. Along with a new creative approach, Kraft Heinz has teamed with Google for a multiyear strategic partnership that seeks to accelerate the CPG giant’s digital transformation.


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