According to a company statement, the alliances "represent a substantial media investment of several hundred million dollars." The agreements follow similar deals struck recently by major marketers, such as Procter & Gamble Co.'s $300 million deal with Viacom, as advertisers look for more strategic ways to reach out to consumers.
Kraft decided to partner with two major media outlets instead of one because, "given the breadth of our product portfolio, it gives us more flexibility and choices for building our brands," said company spokeswoman Kathy Knuth.
Kraft has already begun working with its media shops, including agency of record Bcom3 Group's MediaVest, to develop national plans with its new partners.
Among the newly integrated efforts are a campaign for its Kraft salad dressings that leverages the brand across Viacom properties ranging from CBS to Blockbuster stores, and a health-targeted effort for its Boca brand that has been carried across AOL Time Warner's CNN, Time Inc. and America Online.
Kraft spent $540 million in measured media on its various brands from January through July of this year and nearly $1 billion in 2000, according Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.