CP+B, Craig Kilborn(?) Explain the New Kraft Mac & Cheese Formula

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Remember when Craig Kilborn hosted The Daily Show? That was a different time. He had his own late night show too, but it ended more than ten years ago.

We hadn’t really thought about him in a decade or so until he popped up this week as the new spokesperson for Kraft Mac & Cheese in a CP+B campaign explaining how the product is now better than it once was thanks to the removal of certain preservatives.

What’s with the guy’s voice, though?

Last year, before the Kraft-Heinz mega-merger and the subsequent review of all agency partnerships, Kraft promised to make its best-selling product without all of the artificial ingredients whose names you can’t remember. The company’s strategy for promoting that shift was to wait until the new and improved boxes of mac had already been on the shelves for three months, hence the “It already happened, and you didn’t even notice!” theme of this campaign.

Here’s the making-of clip that explains the strategy. We like the “real mac & cheese lovers who knew they might be in this video.”

We all know that no one eats Kraft Mac & Cheese for its health properties, so this is kind of like eliminating gluten for all the millions of folks who think they might possibly be a little intolerant or putting up “No GMOs” signs on produce when no one really even knows what that means.

But the company came up with a clever way to promote its not-rebranding efforts: removing all the things people are scared of without them even noticing, then joking about it throughout the new marketing campaign.

So people who thought they might need to stay away from Kraft products now feel reassured. The press release calls the experiment “the world’s largest ‘blind taste test.‘”

Will this stop the company’s “sluggish” growth in the U.S.? Probably not. But it’s a pretty good way to appeal to people who don’t necessarily trust your product without being blatantly condescending.

We still can’t figure out Craig Kilborn, though. Either people in their 40s remember him or Kraft just didn’t want to spend much money on a spokesperson.


Client: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
Campaign Title: It’s Changed. But It Hasn’t.
Agency: CP+B
Chief Creative Officer: Ralph Watson
Executive Creative Director: Adam Chasnow
Creative Director: D’Arcy O’Neill
Art Director: Tyler Gonerka
Writer: Emily Salas
Director Of Video Production: Kate Hildebrant
Integrated Producer: Jamie Slade
Production Company: Hungry Man, LA
Director: Hank Perlman
Director of Photography: Eric Steelberg
Line Producer (Production Co): Caleb Dewart
Executive Producer (Production Co): Mino Jarjoura, Nancy Hacohen
Editorial Company: The Now Corporation, NY
Editor: Owen Plotkin
Assistant Editor: Jessica Dowling
Editorial Executive Producer: Nancy Finn
Post Production Company: Art Jail, NY
Lead Compositors: Steve Mottershead, Ben Vaccaro
Executive Producer: John Skeffington
Post Producer: Adriana Wong
Graphics / Animation Company: Art Jail, NY
Mix Company: Lime Studios, LA
Audio Engineer: Mark Meyerhaus, Peter Lapinski
Music Company: JSM Music, NY
Executive Music Producer: Joel Simon
Telecine Company: Art Jail, NY
Colorist: Steve Mottershead
Account Director: Evan Russack
Account Director: Kelly Olech
Content Manager: Ashley Huehnerfuss
Group Director, Strategy: Kaylin Goldstein
Business Affairs: Katherine Graham-Smith
Traffic Manager: Tito Texidor, Laura Crow, Katie Hare