Philly Cream Cheese Campaign: We Set the Standard


Kraft Foods’ Philadelphia Cream Cheese has launched a new campaign focused on conveying the quality process and fresh ingredients and taste that continue to set the 140-year-old-plus brand apart.

“The Philadelphia Standard” campaign, from McGarry Bowen, kicked off with a 30-second national TV spot for its soft cream cheese products that began airing in mid-January (also viewable on the brand’s YouTube channel).

This spot and all of the ads tell the “story behind the silver of Philadelphia Cream Cheese,” emphasizing/illustrating five standards that differentiate the brand: use of fresh, local milk blended with real cream; “farm to [Philly’s] fridge” (a maximum of six days elapses between when a cow is milked and a product is produced/ready to eat); all-fresh ingredients (such as local jalapenos and wild Alaska salmon); and minimal-to-no use of preservatives (none in the brick variety; the minimum necessary in other varieties). 



The ad shows the process and ingredients, and consumers enjoying the product, and concludes: “When it comes to taste, Philadelphia sets the standard.”

While the brand has always adhered to these standards, its recent consumer research confirmed that consumers are more concerned about the processes behind foods, and tend to have a misconception that cream cheese is a highly processed food, reports Christopher Urban, Philadelphia’s senior brand manager. That pointed to a campaign approach that provides more “transparency” by “bringing consumers into” Philadelphia’s process, he says.

Two more TV ads will air during the second quarter (one targeting Hispanics, the other for its latest spicy jalapeno variety). A fourth, for the brick variety, will air during the holidays. In all, the brand will have 20 weeks of national advertising during the year.

Print ads will run in the February and March and holiday issues of women’s lifestyle and food magazines (14 magazine brands total). For Easter, recipe/how-to videos will be used as enhancements for some tablet editions of magazines.  

In March, the brand will launch a 60-second video telling the “standard” story in greater detail, to appear on its YouTube channel and its Web site within the Kraft brands site ( That will be supported with digital ads, social elements and possibly cinema advertising, according to Urban. 

The YouTube channel and site will also feature 13 new how-to recipe videos, many of which have already been posted (including a few handy for Super Bowl parties, like Buffalo Chicken Dip). 

Engagement activities on Facebook (currently nearly 520,000 “likes), Pinterest and Twitter are ongoing. The brand’s Real Women of Philadelphia community continues to be an important social and recipe-generation hub (although the partnership with Paula Deen that tied into that community is not continuing), says Urban. 

Search and in-store marketing are also elements of the campaign. 

In 2012, the brand ran a “Pheel the Moment” campaign, which was an evolution of its “Spread a Little Philly” campaign, launched in 2009. 

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