2016 EFFIE Award Preview: Serving What's Trending

Category:  Media Effie:  Programmatic

Client:  Kraft Heinz Company

Agency: Starcom

Title:  Serving What’s Trending

Challenge: Kraft Heinz was looking to grow its dessert brands, JELL-O, Cool Whip, Baker’s Chocolate, and Jet Puffed Marshmallows, in a competitive yet declining category. While the brands are well known, they faced a perception issue–lacking relevancy with today’s families and the tastes of Moms. Starcom needed to reframe the brands in the eyes of the audience who are interested in making desserts at home. To change perception, we needed to modernize their view of the products. That’s when audience segmentation became our creative conduit.



Historically, Kraft Heinz’s audience was Moms 25-54 who bake and have kids under 18 years old in the household. But there were two problems with this broad audience. First, they were part of the cause of declining share in the dry packaged desserts category. Second, the younger portion of the audience viewed the dessert brands as out-of-touch with today’s dessert trends. The traditional mode of targeting such a broad audience based on demographics just wouldn’t work to drive efficient growth. We needed to rethink the way we defined our audience. So, we identified more exact micro-targets, each with their own challenge that we could turn into opportunity, including Millennial Moms, more experienced bakers, and light and lapsed brand buyers. 

Solution: We used data to predict which dessert recipes would likely gain popularity throughout the holidays. We predicted trending desserts by analyzing data from Kraft CRM, social media listening tools, Search insights (Google) and tips from key publishers in the food space. Then, as the trending recipes started to gain popularity, we used dynamic ad-serving technology to automatically feature these recipes in our digital units. We indexed the entire page so we could swap in any relevant recipes in the existing Kraft Heinz database with agility. For example, whereas Kraft Heinz had an abundance of cranberry recipes ready for the start of the 2014 holiday season, we quickly swapped them out for trendier pumpkin and chocolate recipes that were much more relevant to our Millennial micro-target.

The way we segmented our micro-targets was through a unique combination of data sources and delivery mechanisms. We sourced past-purchase behavior from DataLogix (now Oracle) to find light and lapsed buyers from within the last 12 months. Kraft Heinz’s first party website data told us who had previously looked at relevant holiday recipes. This was all built into our targeting and media delivery technology so we could find our segments and serve them relevant, trending recipes in our dynamic and automated ad template. 

Results: We successfully improved perception—meeting or exceeding the goal for each brand and especially among Millennials—for those exposed to our programmatic campaign versus the control group who were not. 

Additionally, we drove enough sales to increase Kraft Heinz’s share despite category decline. Specifically, we drove a 2% incremental sales lift among those exposed to our campaign versus the control group. This helped Kraft Heinz succeed in taking share away from competitors in the category, most notably taking half a point away from a key competitor.

Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the marketing industry and recognize any and all forms of communication that contribute to a brand's success. Gold, silver and bronze Effie winners will be announced at the 48th annual North American Effie Awards gala on June 2 in New York.

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