Philadelphia campaign showcases versatility of cream cheese

Encourages Canadians to use Philadelphia beyond bagels and cheese cake

Philadelphia Cream Cheese is demonstrating its ability to elevate everyday events like workplace meetings in its first marketing effort since the 2015 merger between H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods.

The new campaign features a Canadian-specific brand platform –“It must be the Philly” – that marketing director Rebecca Harth said was designed to symbolize the brand’s role in elevating everyday occasions.

“The new platform not only affirms Philly’s role in setting the standard for cream cheese, but the brand’s transformative power in changing a food, mood or occasion,” said Harth.

The campaign is part of an effort by the newly created Kraft Heinz Company (Canada) to “contemporize” its portfolio of marquee brands, by investing in what Harth described as “equity building marketing” that evolves relationships with its consumers.

She said the new campaign exemplified the company’s commitment to developing advertising based on extensive consumer insights that deliver “best-in-class” results. It is built around four core pillars: quality, optimism, transformation and insightful storytelling.

“Our campaigns have a long history of delivering strong ROI, so ultimately this really helps support continued growth and investment in marketing behind this powerful brand,” said Harth.

The campaign launched with a 30-second spot, “Meeting,” which opens on an office worker spotting a tub of Philly surrounded by bread and fruit. She excitedly tells co-workers there is a budget meeting planned for the day, causing them to react with excitement knowing it means Philly will be available.

The spot cuts to the workers blissfully eating the Philly product while another colleague shows them pie charts and graphs.

The campaign will also include a mix of digital executions and social media activity, with a second piece of video advertising being released later this year.

Canadians still mostly associate the Philly brand with a morning bagel or a holiday cheesecake, said Harth, but the campaign is intended to demonstrate its versatility as a snack food.

“The campaign is rooted in telling insightful stories about small human truths that happen in the everyday life of Canadians where Philly can play a role in making things better,” she said.

Harth said Philly shared a characteristic with other Kraft Heinz brands in that its target consumer is not defined solely by traditional measures like age and gender, but by a desire to live an “enriched life” by consciously making an effort to make the most of every day.

“In the case of Philly, there was an opportunity to evolve our communications to focus not only on the relevant functional benefits, but also bring the emotional sentiment this brand evokes to the forefront,’ said Harth.

There are nearly 50 SKUs in the Philly line, spanning formats including regular and light soft cream cheese, along with whipped, brick and dips varieties.

Harth said Philly had one of the highest levels of brand equity and market shares in the industry, with consumers regarding it as synonymous with cream cheese and viewing it as a brand with high quality and standards. The brand had a 43.1% share of Canada’s US$278.6 million spreadable processed cheese segment in 2015, according to data from Euromonitor International.

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