'Real Women' Drive Philly Cream Cheese Digital

Real Women of Philadelphia/Kraft/Paula Deen

Kraft Food's Philadelphia Cream Cheese is teaming with Food Network star Paula Deen to launch "Real Women of Philadelphia," an online community to be led by "real life" cooks/hosts chosen via an online video and live cook-off competition.

The community, at, is the core platform for an integrated, multichannel initiative spanning numerous digital elements, a cookbook and experiential cooking tour, PR and traditional media.

The "Real Women" program, in turn, ties closely with the brand's "Spread a Little Philly" ad campaign from McGarryBowen, which stresses consumers' emotional connection with the brand ("Spread a Pheeling") and brings greater focus than in the past to the product's versatility in cooking/baking, as well as snacks.



Starting March 29 and running through May 23, home cooks are being encouraged to "audition" by submitting videos of themselves preparing their best Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipes. (The site provides step-by-step video and how-to advice, although the focus is on content/ personality rather than technical video mastery.)

Deen and judges will choose 16 semifinalists, who will then compete in a cook-off in Deen's hometown of Savannah, Ga. to be live-streamed on the site. The four winners (one each in the categories of appetizers, entrées, side dishes and desserts) will be awarded $25,000 talent contracts that include hosting their own weekly online cooking shows on the community site, being featured in a community cookbook and cooking videos, and participating in publicity tours.

Once in their online roles, the hosts will encourage other women to submit their own favorite Philly recipes, with one winner ($500 prize) chosen each day over 16 weeks, according to Adam Butler, senior associate brand manager, Kraft Foods. Once these recipes, along with the "Real Women" hosts', are compiled into a cookbook, the hosts will embark on a cross-country experiential cooking tour.

The community site will also feature users' recipes, ideas and videos, along with weekly tips videos from Deen.

Other digital aspects of the program will include "robust social media engagement" via the brand's Facebook fan page, Twitter feed and other outreach. (A YouTube-hosted video of Deen explaining the "Real Women" competition is already featured/embedded in the Facebook fan page wall.) Kraft Foods channels such, partnerships with "mom blogs" and the corporate CRM/email communications database will also be leveraged, Butler reports.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese has engaged in a variety of digital efforts in the past, including social media, partnerships, search and banner ad campaigns and how-to videos pushed out via digital networks. However, "Real Women" represents the first multi-component, UGC-based program guided by an integrated, cohesive strategy. "We're employing all of the learnings from previous [digital] efforts" to "deliver at a higher level," sums up Butler.

Kraft has challenged all of its brands to "elevate" the power of their digital strategies, and with the shift to a greater emphasis on cooking and baking, connecting consumers through online, user-generated cooking content was a natural for the #1 cream cheese brand, Butler says. "People love to cook with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and online is where everyone goes for recipes and ideas now," he notes. "Content has enhanced credibility in the digital space."

The brand will build on its digital momentum via ongoing testing and employing real-time data, search results and user feedback on recipes and content to hone its offerings to the needs of the market, Butler adds.

This week, Philly also launched a new 15-second television spot featuring Deen and the "Real Women" theme, considered a companion to another 15-second, cooking-oriented spot that debuted in January, Butler notes. Deen is also featured in a new "Real Women" Philadelphia Cream Cheese magazine print ad (and is scheduled to appear on "The View" on March 26).

The digital initiative, including video production, Web site development and community management, was developed by EQAL in collaboration with Digitas and Kraft Foods. Social media strategy is being handled by DEI Worldwide, PR by Edelman, the tour by OgilvyAction and media by The KraftOne team of Digitas and Mediavest.

2 comments about "'Real Women' Drive Philly Cream Cheese Digital ".
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  1. Douglas Madaras, March 25, 2010 at 6:56 a.m.

    Paula will surely add some spice to the brand and product. I own 2 domains which could also add excitement to Philly's name - "" and "". Both of which would add to the humor Paula is noted for as well as an online presence and ad potential.

  2. Joanne Jubert, March 25, 2010 at 10:53 a.m.

    A single woman living most of my adult life in our biggest city and now looked at like a "freak" here in the NJ burbs how exactly are you defining a "real woman?"

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