Kroger appears to have taken a leaf of out of the U.K./European holiday advertising playbook this year, with a sentimental animated spot featuring a widowed grandfather and leans heavily on nostalgia.
Created via DDB New York, with animation by Hornet, the ad centers on a "magical cookbook." The grandfather stumbles on his late wife’s recipe book and tries to make a few dishes, like cinnamon apple pie and cranberry brie bites. After each taste, he relives a holiday memory. The story ends in the present day picturing him carrying on his favorite food traditions with his granddaughter. Amping up the emotional heft, it's set to a syrupy cover of the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris," by Colbie Caillat.
The ad will appear during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as during the NY Giants vs Dallas Cowboys matchup on Thanksgiving Day and The Ohio State Buckeyes vs Michigan Wolverines game Thanksgiving weekend,.
Kroger will also launch a complementary coloring book featuring scenes and recipes from the film, created in partnership with illustrator Jennifer Morris, and featuring custom QR codes to shop corresponding ingredients.
“Many of us were so excited to talk about our own family recipes—from the tattered handwritten recipe cards we saved to the weathered recipe books handed down to us,” said Kroger Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Emily Hartmann, in a statement. “We all had unique stories to tell, quickly learning just how powerful holiday foods are in transporting us to the happiest moments of our lives with loved ones and creating more memories with new generations. We hope viewers of the film feel this shared sense of connection.”