Kraft is increasing investment in its digital media mix with a focus on nostalgia and millennial parents

Strengthening its digital media mix with a focus on digital out-of-home, Kraft tracks millennial parents’ shopping habits to capture their attention where they spend their time.

The strategy follows the acquisition of the brand’s cheese division by Lactalis Heritage Dairy in 2021 from Kraft-Heinz. It’s Kraft’s first multimillion-dollar campaign since the acquisition, and the brand’s goal is to create strong connections with millennial parents, especially during the spring and summer months.

According to Ken Padgett, Marketing Director of Lactalis Heritage Dairy, Kraft’s marketing strategy has been in the works for 14 months. In addition to preparing television and sponsored ads, Kraft has also taken an interest in digital OOH and social media ads to accommodate changing consumer shopping habits. For example, Millennials and Gen Z are now more likely to shop through apps like Instacart, Uber Eats, and shoppable experiences on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

“We want to bring together the emotional bond consumers have, especially given the climate in the landscape we’re facing in the wake of a global pandemic,” Padgett said. “With the rising inflation that consumers experience every day, we want to be a trusted partner for them when it comes to dining and special occasions.”

Padgett said Kraft’s campaign drew on ’90s traditions of families cooking together to create nostalgia-themed ads for television and digital displays to help the brand connect with millennial parents . To this end, Kraft uses OOH digital banners of various sizes and in strategic locations across the country. The brand also uses social media banners on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram as part of the campaign with the aim of driving traffic to its online store.

In general, due to the rapid growth of the digital advertising industry, OOH programmatic digital advertising has become a more innovative way for marketers to reach their target audiences in the physical world. According to Research and Markets, the digital OOH market is expected to reach $33 billion by 2026.

“A multi-media campaign is critical because it allows Kraft to get its message across in a variety of ways that resonate with different audiences,” said Magda Houalla, director of marketing strategy at Aspire. “Not all consumers will see all ads, and the more touchpoints you have, the greater your reach, or more opportunities to reach your target customer.”

While Kraft is using social platforms alongside digital OOH for this campaign, the brand is not advertising on Twitter. Padgett said that’s because the platform isn’t a primary place for food and recipe discovery, unlike Instagram and Pinterest.

“We use social channels where we feel they will have the most impact and where consumers are using media to really plan their meals,” Padgett said.

Kraft is just one of several brands incorporating outdoor advertising into their media mix this year. BodyArmor, the NBA, and Liquid IV have also done so in the form of digital OOH ads.

It’s unclear how much Kraft is spending on this particular campaign, as Padgett declined to share details of the overall budget. According to data from Sensory Tower, digital ad spend for Kraft increased 82% from January to May last year compared to the same period in 2023. Padgett said that a quarter of Kraft’s marketing budget for this campaign went to connected television, with the remainder going to digital displays and social media.