Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is taking its product and marketing tie-in with the upcoming "Star Wars Episode VII-The Force Awakens" to the next level, introducing a TV spot and an interactive Web site.
The brand debuted four "collector's edition" boxes — featuring head shots of the Yoda, Darth Vader, R2D2 and C3PO characters outside and Star Wars-themed macaroni shapes inside — in January. Some retailers are also offering limited-edition collector's posters with Kraft Mac & Cheese purchases.
The brand's efforts to date have included print and digital advertising, in-store promotions, and a #Maythe4thBeWithYou Star Wars-themed music promotion on Pandora on (what else?) May 4.
The TV ad, being aired in the weeks leading up to the movie's Dec. 18 release, features a dad proudly showing his young son his collection of Star Wars toys, now joined on the shelves by Kraft Mac & Cheese Star Wars boxes. All are unopened. The boy's take: "So, toys you can't play with and mac and cheese you can't eat? This is a room of lies."
The campaign, from Crispin Porter & Bogusky, also includes an interactive "Kraft Star Wars Room" site that shows some 750 pieces of Star Wars memorabilia chosen by Rancho Obi-Wan, which holds the Guinness Record for the largest private Star Wars collection. Visitors can tap on many of the items (which include the Kraft limited-edition boxes and posters) to see more photos and information about them.
"We're bringing to life the nostalgia that many young parents feel about Star Wars and Kraft, and creating new and exciting ways to experience them together as a family," summed up Scott Glenn, brand manager for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
The brand, which already offered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pasta shapes boxes, this year also added Minons shapes.
Its marketing for the collectibles boxes is also stressing that these pasta shapes are made with no artificial flavors, preservatives or synthetic colors, and have 25% less saturated fat — and that artificial ingredients are also being removed from the original "blue box" variety as of next year. (Kraft says that it's also working on adding more whole grains to the pasta.)