Kraft Dinner Mac & Cheese

How does a clever video marketing campaign and strong influencer marketing partnership help boost sales? Just ask Michelle St. Jacques, Kraft Heinz’s Head of Brand & Innovation. In 2017, Kraft Heinz launched a marketing campaign that garnered over 4.5 million views, over 70 million social media impressions, and over 750,000 likes, comments, and retweets in a mere nine days.

St. Jacques attributes the success of the video marketing campaign to a combination of things: data from a survey Kraft Heinz conducted, influencers they partnered with, and a determination to connect with consumers on a meaningful level.

The survey, conducted amongst millennial moms, found that 75 percent of them said that they sometimes swore in front of their kids. “We thought, ‘This is such a great, interesting moment, and we can use it to do something that will resonate with her,” St. Jacques said in an interview at Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity — a global festival which commemorates those in creative advertising and communications.

St. Jacques also credited the success of the campaign to understanding consumer values and needs by honing in on what they care about and relate to. She said a major part of the success of the campaign was the fact that the video ad was so relatable to moms all over the world.

“When I think about making sure we get to the right consumer, part of it is around data. But the other part of it is driven by really making sure you understand exactly what your consumer cares about,” she said.

Today, a product that resonates with consumers is one that sells. A brand that is relatable and ties into what consumers care about drives interest and talkability.

St. Jacques said that to connect with consumers, marketers have to do something different. They have to connect with consumers on a deeper level that creates meaning and resonates with them. She gave MGM’s Universal Love album as an example of great marketing that creates meaningful connections with consumers.

This campaign, which featured a playlist of reworked wedding songs for LGBTQ couples, was not only clever but also relatable, inclusive and incredibly meaningful.

“I saw it as a very smart way to be more inclusive, so that was very interesting. I look at ideas like that which drive talkability, drive that buzz,” she said about the campaign.

St. Jacques went on to talk about the famous Country Time ‘Legal-Aid’ campaign, which was a campaign that offered to pay the fines children in the United States received for selling lemonade at lemonade stands: “As a brand, we feel passionate that having a lemonade stand is actually a part of growing up, a right of passage; you learn entrepreneurial skills. It’s actually a really positive thing. So we felt like this was something that we could take a stand on,” she said.

This campaign received an alarming amount of positive feedback that made it a huge success. It brought people together and drew them closer, allowing them to celebrate something that has been ingrained into the American culture.

St. Jacques related the success of the Country Time campaign to the now-famous Macaroni & Cheese Swear Like a Mother video ad campaign, which took insights and data surrounding millennial mothers and created a campaign that not only resonated with millennial moms but also made them feel included.

Kraft wanted to celebrate that moms, just like everyone else, aren’t always perfect. The brand decided to create a unique video marketing campaign which centered around this data. The campaign was fun and carefree, and its main purpose was to say that “we love you as you are”. Kraft approached the campaign in a way which incorporated the data they received from the survey with an emotional and meaningful message that connected with consumers.

But how did they make sure that this video ad would translate into people actually buying the product? Kraft targeted a certain demographic and a certain attitude (in this case, imperfect millennial moms) and displayed it on the right platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Another huge part about the success of the campaign was influencer marketing.

“The priority was finding Influencers who had a similar kind of value system or voice to what we were trying to do. We worked with them to also share those moments about being imperfect,” St. Jacques said. A big part of this was finding influencers that mothers could relate to and share these unique moments with.

Influencer marketing plays a huge role in driving sales and talk-ability. St. Jacques stated that it’s all about choosing the right influencer and being transparent and clear about what you want from them. She explained that the influencer has to have an authentic voice that matches the brand as well as what the consumer wants and cares about.

It’s a combination of partnering with the right influencers and getting the right data to make sure a campaign will work.


So what’s the takeaway? Creating a meaningful and relatable connection with consumers and translating it into a video ad that resonates with them is a proven way to boost sales. Using data to create this type of video ad and partnering with the right influencers who share the same values and care about the message is a recipe for creating a campaign that works and boosts product sales. The proof is in the pudding — or in this case, the Mac & Cheese.