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Kraft Goes Beyond the Bagel

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Cream cheese: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

That's the message Kraft is trying to get across with a new ad campaign aimed at fans of its Philadelphia brand, who are increasingly using it as a topper on snacks like strawberries and celery sticks.

The goal  is to increase such usage, said Chitra Ebenezer, marketing director for Philadelphia Cream Cheese. “You can take it out for use on a bagel, but then you don't take it out again till the next day,” she said. “We're giving [the target consumer] reasons to take it out of the fridge after 10 in the morning.”

Bagels are conspicuously absent in the ads. One TV spot, which broke during the Academy Awards, shows a female accountant eating a cracker topped with Philadelphia cream cheese to refuel her day. The snack is apparently so energizing that she later finds the inspiration to redo her budget and have dinner with her friends at a Tuscan villa.

Two ads breaking next week (April 6) via Nitro build upon that theme. In the first, a woman hits the mall after eating some Philadelphia cream cheese atop crackers and makes the newspaper's “Style” section because of her fashionable outfit. A 15-second version shows the same woman indulging in a snack of cream cheese and crackers and not being able to “bear a day without it.”

The outreach includes ads on People.com and Wonderwall, the online, celebrity portal of Internet site MSN. Cream cheese snacking tips have also appeared on the backs of Nabisco packages (also owned by Kraft), and the brand just wrapped up a contest promotion with Extra TV show host Mario Lopez asking consumers to come up with the best cream cheese snack. The spots replace the decade-old Philadelphia ads, which depict a series of angel characters rhapsodizing on the brand’s virtues.

The idea of expanding the use of a product is an old marketing trick, made famous by Florida Orange Growers, a trade group that  ran ads in the 1970s stating the product was “not just for breakfast anymore.”

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