The reduced-fat, creamy and spoonable version of the iconic
brand will hit stores early next year and be accompanied by one of
the largest ad campaigns in company history, officials told Ad Age.
"We're thinking this is going to be one of the biggest launches
that cheese and dairy has ever had," said Adam Butler, brand
manager for Philadelphia. "We're going big. We've got a huge
marketing campaign scheduled against it."
That said, Kraft did not disclose the ad budget, other than to
note that it will consume half of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese
budget for next year.
The refrigerated creme will come in four flavors: original,
Italian herb, savory garlic and Santa Fe. The campaign, by
McGarryBowen, will promote the product as a sauce for chicken,
vegetables or just about anything else you can put in a pan. The
push will include print and TV ads, which are still in production
and are scheduled to begin airing March 1. Commercials will focus
on solving the "dinner dilemma," said Jill Baskin, Kraft's senior
director of integrated communication for the cheese business
Philadelphia brand cream cheese was first distributed in 1880 by
a New York businessman and acquired by Kraft in 1928. The brand was
marketed as a versatile cheese in the early years, but Kraft began
positioning it as more of a bagel spread in the 1980s, Mr. Butler
Sales later flattened, as consumers began favoring
low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins Diet, he said. "We had
to look elsewhere for growth," he said, and we "wanted to start
with changing behavior with marketing."
The push to return the cheese to its versatile roots gained
steam this year with an online campaign called "Real Women of
Philadelphia" by Publicis Groupe's Digitas and Eqal, a social
entertainment company. Consumers submitted cream cheese recipes and
celebrity chef Paula Deen hosted a cook-off in Savannah, Ga. Four
winners won $25,000 apiece.
The site has drawn 1.3 million visits, according to Kraft, which
says the promotion has boosted Philadelphia unit sales by 5% year
to date though August.
Kraft hopes to build anticipation for the creme by first sending
it to 2,000 consumers who sign up on the Real Women website. Users
can submit pitches for an online commercial that will be produced
Due to incorrect information given by Kraft, this story
incorrectly stated that ad spending on the launch of Philadelphia
Cooking Creme will consume half of all spending on the cheese and
dairy division. The budget will instead be half of the Philadelphia
Cream Cheese budget for next year.