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Kraft Brands Go to the Movies

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The world's second-largest food company and National CineMedia have inked a marketing alliance that will bring Kraft brands such as Oscar Mayer Lunchables, Stride gum and Ritz crackers to the big screen.

The agreement marks the first time a food advertiser has created long-form, branded content for the cinema.

Kraft's campaign, launching today, will include two-minute-and-thirty-second original entertainment segments -- along with traditional shorter spots -- in NCM's FirstLook pre-feature program running on its digital network of 15,400 screens.

"This new cinema campaign perfectly fits with our strategy to reach audiences in more engaging ways and drive a deeper connection with our brands," said Mark Stewart, vp of global media services at Kraft. "It is also the very first advertising initiative in the U.S. that will include both Kraft Foods and Cadbury brands."

Although cinema advertising is on a roll with many advertising categories, packaged-goods firms have been slower to embrace the medium. Kraft's new campaign indicates that the category may be about to Hollywood.

"Kraft Foods' new strategy is really a game-changer for cinema," said Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing for NCM. "I've always thought that there was a huge opportunity for brands to utilize branded entertainment to create unique personal relationship with consumers. And now, Kraft Foods and [the brand's media agency] MediaVest will help to prove this theory."