Kraft's Hockeyville winner announced

4/8/2012

Hockeyville has a new home. Earlier this month, the small Ontario town of Stirling-Rawdon won the 2012 iteration of Kraft Hockeyville--an honour that comes with the right to host an NHL pre-season game and $100,000 towards arena upgrades.

By standard marketing metrics, Hockeyville has been a home run, er, breakaway success for Kraft Canada. Launched in 2006, it has transcended its original beginnings as a marketing program to become a brand unto itself.

Internal research by Kraft found that Hockeyville has 42 per cent aided awareness among Canadians, placing it fourth among so-called “social cause” programs like CIBC Run For The Cure.

A multi-channel initiative spanning TV (a regular segment on CBC Television’s Hockey Night in Canada); the web (KraftHockeyville.ca, where the average visit lasts seven minutes); and social media (its Facebook page has almost 43,000 followers); it is at store-level where Hockeyville has truly come to life.

“One of the reasons I think it has been so well-received is that your local store could be supporting the community’s bid to become Kraft Hockeyville and be part of the campaign,” says Julian Franklin, senior manager, corporate scale for Kraft Canada in Toronto. “It really connects with our customer at that local level.”

Franklin says that in-store marketing--end-aisles, freezer bunker displays etc.--is a key contributor to Hockeyville’s continued success. “ are giving us incremental floor display space beyond what is just on the shelf or in the refrigerated aisle,” he says. “We see that there is a positive impact for the brands that participate.”

While Kraft uses Kraft Hockeyville to promote some of its new or repackaged products--an extension to its Philadelphia Cream Cheese line, called Philadelphia Cooking Creme, was among the new products featured in this year’s promotion--the emphasis tends to be on the company’s flagship brands. It is a broad list, ranging from Oreos to Cheez Whiz, Maxwell House and Kraft Dinner.

It is said that at least one Kraft product can be found in 98.6 per cent of all households in Canada. The penetration may be even higher in Stirling-Rawdon.

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