A 'Velveeta Gold' 'Do for April Fools' Day

Photo courtesy of Velveeta


For a cynic, I’m painfully gullible, and therefore I’ve always hated April Fools’ Day.

I react like a frustrated toddler to being pranked, and fail to see the “fun.”

It was annoying enough in the old days, but now, with AI and disinformation, it’s that much harder to keep up. Sadly, so much of our Orwellian news lately could easily be processed as an April Fools’ Day “joke.”  

So it would seem times are tougher for would-be pranksters.

As for brands, elaborate ruses seem like a waste of budget. Plus, there’s always the possibility that the stunt will backfire and make customers mad.

Take the Dole Banana Peel Sleeping Bag, promoted as being available on April Fools' Day only. (There’s a clue!)  The announcement said that it’s “made from actual banana fiber,” which seems cool and green to me.  The fact that this sleeping bag  "allows parents to escape into their own cocoon of sensory deprivation,” is quite attractive, too.



So all in all, I’m disappointed. I’m always up for something sustainable and banana-derived; finding a new cocoon of sensory deprivation is the icing on the icing.

Thus, when I saw an April 1 announcement from Kraft Heinz introducing a new hair dye, (a first for the company) called “Velveeta Gold” a hue inspired by the glow-in-the-dark yellow coloring of its famous pasteurized prepared cheese product, I thought, OK, that’s an amusing enough stunt.

The box of dye is supposedly selling for $7.50 on Amazon, the same price as a block of Velveeta, that Muzak of cheeses, all part of the cleverness of the obvious wind-up.

The brand also hired the sometime-controversial actress/influencer Julia Fox to stir it up on social media. She dyed her locks artificial gold, showing up as a new definition of a cheese head at a New York Knicks game on March 31.

Not only is the color on that perfect orange-gold ‘veeta spectrum, but Fox’s hairdo, a combination of curls and coils, approximated a yummy serving of Velveeta Mac-n-Cheese.  I wanted to take a fork to her head.

There’s no point in saying that it’s a triple cheesy stunt because, as part of the latest “La Dolce Velveeta” campaign, the cheese has gained an ineffable coolness, standing alone among processed food products.

I’ve been a big fan of Johannes Leonardo’s now three-year-old rebranding, including TV spots and products.

“La Dolce Vita,” meaning “the sweet life” is also the title of a famous Fellini movie, a black-and-white ode to the fabulosity of Rome in 1960.

It’s hilarious (and genius) to take something considered as bogus and uncool as processed cheese and turn it on its head. The rebrand positions Velveeta as an indulgence, part of a sophisticated, decadent lifestyle, a new luxury experience for adults with attitude.

One of its more inspired inventions is the “Veltini”-made with Velveeta-infused vodka, vermouth and olive brine, with Velveeta-infused olives and a cheese-drip on top.  That’s defining decadence upward.

The TV spots and ancillary products are all pitch-perfect tongue-in-cheek. So given this, the brand seems made for an April Fools adjacency.

Except that “Velveeta Gold” hair dye is not a stunt.  It’s a real product now on the market. Or at least that’s what the publicist at Kraft Heinz assured me when I emailed to check.

I’m still wondering about this, though. I think I’m gonna need some time in my Banana Peel sleeping bag to process it.

Next story loading loading..