Kraft Mac & Cheese wishes consumers a ‘Happy No Year’

New campaign injects attitude behind the ‘Help Yourself’ positioning

Published On
Jan 03, 2022

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Digging deeper into a transition from a family-focused convenience meal to an adult-fixated lifestyle solution, Kraft Mac & Cheese is wishing consumers a “Happy No Year.”

The ad seeks to appeal to consumers who are burned out on deadlines, resolutions and other hassles of their lives, and anxious to treat themselves to small rewards.

“It’s okay to say ‘no’ to the party you don’t want to go to. It’s okay to say ‘no’ to one more project, or one more to-do. It’s okay to say no! So this year, we're hoping people reclaim the word in the name of their own comfort,” said Jeph Burton, group creative director of ad agency Johannes Leonardo, which led the campaign for the Kraft Heinz-owned brand.

The ad features scenes shot around New York and a voice-over that ticks off a series of “nos”: No cameras on before noon. No working through lunch. … No to anything that doesn’t bring you comfort.

The ads support the “Help Yourself” message introduced late last year, which supplanted a previous focus on convenience and kid’s meals and focused instead on exploring an attitude suggested by the notion inherent in “comfort food.” The brand is encouraging consumers to share their #NoYearsResolutions online.

“Our current Help Yourself campaign is a joyful invitation to embrace things that bring comfort, so we welcomed the Happy No Year idea as a way to kick off the year,” Emily Violett, senior associate brand manager at Kraft Heinz, said in comments emailed to Ad Age. “I encourage everybody to take this challenge and reclaim what delights you in 2022.”

The approach is similar to the “No is Beautiful” campaign that tea brand Pure Leaf debuted last year in an attempt to empathize with consumers seeking more work-life balance.

See Ad Age’s 2021 Year in Review here.