This National Noodle Day, brands are getting creative to get on people’s minds and into their stomachs. First up, Kraft Mac & Cheese is turning up the heat, not with its food, but with its marketing. The brand is playing on the word “noods” to get people send boxes of its signature Mac & Cheese to loved ones in a campaign from Mischief @ No Fixed Address.
Comedic actress Vanessa Bayer explains the difference between the homonyms “noods” and “nudes” in an online spot. The effort also includes digital ads on social networks and dating sites, along with out-of-home work in Chicago.
Brand fans can get the noods by going to a website, www.enjoynoods.com, or responding to the brand @kraftmacncheese on Twitter through Oct. 11.
Hundreds of people are also getting a “Send Noods” box including a t-shirt, stickers with sayings such as “I like my noods extra hot,” a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese, and Just Noods, a mock magazine featuring a cover with a somewhat salacious image of a woman dining on a bowl of blurred out noods. Inside, the magazine features lots of stock photos of the product.
The phrase "Send Noods" is not original or unique to Kraft Mac & Cheese. It has long been used in the foodie and Asian American communities in reference to ramen and other noodle dishes.
Speaking of which, in another Noodle Day effort, Nissin Foods' Top Ramen has created a brand fan’s dream job: Chief Noodle Officer. Fans who respond to the brand’s prompt, “How do you *Top* Ramen?” have the chance to win that title, 50 years’ worth of ramen, and $10,000. The brand says it will select the winner with help from Melissa King, the winner of "Top Chef All-Stars: Los Angeles."
And Noodles & Company is offering throwback pricing on Oct. 6 for members of its rewards program, giving them 25% off orders. In recent years, it had offered a free entree with another purchase.
For these brands and others, playing off of National Noodle Day is a way to insert a brand into a conversation and, hopefully, spur sales. Packaged foods including noodles sold especially well earlier on during the coronavirus pandemic.
The “Send Noods” work for Kraft Mac & Cheese is the second Kraft Heinz campaign from creative vet Greg Hahn’s agency Mischief @ No Fixed Address. In August, it worked with Capri Sun to replace its fruit drink pouches with water for kids who can’t use water fountains in schools because of COVID-19.