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Kraft's Mayo Makeover

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Kraft is looking to spice up lunchtime sandwich fare with a new celebrity-backed campaign for its flavored mayonnaise lineup.

The effort for the Sandwich Shop brand, which kicked off with a 60-second spot during last night's American Idol finale, stars HGTV Design Star judges Candice Olson, Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip. TV spots, dubbed "Tastemakers,” are set up in a makeover reality-show format.

One 15-second teaser, for instance, opens with Yip approaching a couple that’s unbelievably “beige.” He then brings some color into the household by introducing Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo in Chipotle. “Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone,” he tells them.

This is the first big ad push for the new line of mayonnaise, which started hitting shelves in March. They're priced at $2.99 and come in four flavors: reduced fat Chipotle, Garlic & Herb, Horseradish-Dijon and regular Hot & Spicy.

“Squeeze [our mayonnaises] onto your boring ham and cheese and you’ll have a delicious, new sandwich that’s restaurant inspired,” said Kraft brand manager Amy Monroe.

Women 35-64 are the target audience. These individuals are “looking for new ideas” and constantly open to change, and so, they are tuning into HGTV and ABC’s Extreme Makeover to find inspiration, Monroe said.

For that reason, Kraft has expanded its print outreach beyond traditional lifestyle and food titles like Real Simple and Bon Appetit to include InStyle and House Beautiful. A two-page spread shows Yip sitting in a bold red chair opposite his sandwich creation that uses Sandwich Shop Chipotle Mayo. Copy reads: “Go bold by stepping outside the flavor norm.”

Agencies that worked on the campaign include mcgarrybowen, Chicago, for creative; Upshot for promotional and in-store marketing; AKQA, New York, for digital; Hunter, which handled public relations; and Mediavest and Digitas, both in Chicago, for media buying duties. Kraft spent $11 million advertising its mayonnaise brands in 2009, up 206 percent from 2008, per Nielsen.