Kraft Seeks Laughs With Satire Site

As a maker of dorm food staples, Kraft Foods needs to fish where the fish are—which in this case means a Web site that once attracted visitors by showing pictures of young ladies with the site’s name scrawled on their chests.

The food company this week kicks off a three-month promotion on, a popular and at times bawdy site targeting 18-25-year-old males with satirical articles and user-shot content. Its editors produced four Webisodes of a mock cooking show involving Kraft products like EasyMac for a dedicated Kraft section of the site.

The Kraft “Really Frugal Gourmet” series is part of an effort by to create safe areas for brands to reach its ad-averse audience by enlisting its editorial talent to produce ad content that resonates with young men.

But doing so means creating safe pages for brand advertisers, said editor-in-chief and co-founder Rick Van Veen, who led development of the Webisodes. Despite content elsewhere on the site that includes pics of college girls pillow fighting in underwear, it has landed ad deals with brands like Jeep and Old Spice.

Barry Diller’s IAC bought a majority stake of the site last August, and it has since accelerated production of original video content. It is also shooting branded Webisodes such as an upcoming promo for the Will Ferrell ice skating movie Blades of Glory that imagines movies like Saving Private Ryan on ice.

One victim of post-IAC deal no-nudity site policy: the photos of young women with written on their bodies. “That’s the biggest step we made to make brand advertisers comfortable,” said Van Veen.