Ad of the Day: Velveeta Shells & Cheese

'Eat like that guy you know,' the one who lives awesomely, says quirky W+K campaign

Wieden + Kennedy's latest work for Kraft's Velveeta brand sheds the skillet-wielding blacksmith in favor of a series of characters that scream, "Man's man."

Why? Because this time, in advertising Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Kraft seeks to reach young, active males instead of moms who cook. Specifically, the "Eat like that guy you know" campaign targets men in their 20s and 30s who enjoy life and crave convenience, particularly in food, according to Kraft brand manager Adam Grablick.

In the first ad, which breaks today, we meet a casual but cool dude who sells remote-control helicopters at a mall. Sunglasses hang from the neckline of his burgundy polo shirt, and he never breaks a sweat, even while playing hackysack during a break. He even has a buddy from the food court who does him a solid and whips up some Velveeta Shells & Cheese for lunch.

And hey, if you buy a helicopter, great. If not, no biggie. As a male voiceover explains, "Either way, he gets to fly helicopters all day. I'm talkin' Da Vinci-style flying machines."

The voiceover nicely captures the character's attitude like a rap over a sparse bed of drums and synthesizer. The bigger challenge, however, is convincing consumers that this guy would rather cook—albeit with the help of a friend—than just grab a slice of pizza. In short, how do you make packaged foods hip?

I wouldn't bet against Wieden, given its success with a certain men's deodorant. In fact, one of the creative directors on the new Velveeta campaign, Eric Baldwin, used to be a key player on Old Spice.

Future ads will feature a limo driver and an aquarium store owner. There's also a microsite,, where you can personalize lines like, "Eat like that guy you know that has a great telephone voice that makes him sound a lot taller," plug in a friend's name and post to Facebook. The campaign will continue into next year.

Client: Kraft's Velveeta Shells & Cheese
Campaign: "Eat like that guy you know"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman, Eric Baldwin
Copywriter: Laddie Peterson
Art Director: James Moslander
Producer: Melanie Fedunok
Account Team: Ken Smith, Jennifer Segerholt, Alissa Sheely
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Radical Media
Director: Steve Miller
Director of the :15s: James Moslander, W+K
Executive Producers: Donna Portaro, Frank Scherma
Line Producer: Kathy Rhodes
Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editors: Tommy Harden, Steve Sprinkel
Postproduction Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer
Postproduction Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

Visual Effects Companies: A52, Elastic
Visual Effects Lead: Andy Barrios
2-D Artists: Patrick Murphy, Steve Wolff
Computer Graphics Lead: Chris Janney
Computer Graphics Artists: Andy Lewis, Kirk Shintani
Flame Assistants: Dan Ellis, Kevin Stokes
Producer: Meredith Tomasulo