A Boston-area outdoor campaign for Shake N' Bake came home to roost last week when pictures of a display at Kraft's corporate office caused a stir online. The blog Animal posted a picture of the sign, displayed just outside the restrooms. It features a mirror, and the words "You look smashing. But your chicken breasts could use a lift."
Animal claimed that Kraft women were furious, though commentors said they needed a sense of humor. When Consumerist posted a link on Friday, 65 commentors were split among loving the ad and bemoaning our "nation of whiners" over what was perceived as a missed attempt at humor. None claimed offense.
LittleAK, a female commentor who loved the spot, suggested "perhaps those with chicken breasts are offended?" Commentor edebaby offered up, "You look smashing, but your bazongas could use a lift. Now that's funny."
Kraft took the sign down, anyway.
"It is a common practice for our brands to showcase their marketing efforts in this way," Kraft spokeswoman Joyce Hodel said in a statement. "We have not received any formal complaints directly from our employees. However, once the brand team became aware a few employees may have expressed concerns online, they decided to remove that particular campaign execution from our Glenview building."
Ms. Hodel added that the ad, slated only for play in Boston, debuted in early November, and would complete run through the end of December as planned.
Funny or not, the ad copy, from Euro RSCG, Chicago, marks a stark departure from the days of "It's Shake N' Bake and I hepped." Kraft has made an effort to contemporize storied but sleepy brands in recent years, overhauling products such as Maxwell House and Kraft Salad Dressings. Doing so, the company has gone for a snappier -- even snarkier -- tone in its advertising of late, with a Miracle Whip campaign proclaiming, "We will not tone it down," and a Kraft salad dressings commercial pitting its own product against Hidden Valley ranch dressing at Hidden Valley -- a golf club. The spot featured Samantha Bee of "The Daily Show" fame.
These efforts haven't always been an overwhelming success, as shown by the iSnack 2.0 naming disaster in September. Kraft's Australia business sought a name for its Vegemite-and-cream cheese product through crowdsourcing, but managed to pick a name that was entered as a joke. The method had historical significance, though. The Vegemite name was chosen through a competition in the 1920s.