Ad of the Day: Velveeta Shells & Cheese

'Eat like that guy you know,' the one who lives awesomely, says quirky W+K campaign

Wieden + Kennedy's latest work for Kraft's Velveeta brand sheds the skillet-wielding blacksmith in favor of a series of characters that scream, "Man's man."

Why? Because this time, in advertising Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Kraft seeks to reach young, active males instead of moms who cook. Specifically, the "Eat like that guy you know" campaign targets men in their 20s and 30s who enjoy life and crave convenience, particularly in food, according to Kraft brand manager Adam Grablick.

In the first ad, which breaks today, we meet a casual but cool dude who sells remote-control helicopters at a mall. Sunglasses hang from the neckline of his burgundy polo shirt, and he never breaks a sweat, even while playing hackysack during a break. He even has a buddy from the food court who does him a solid and whips up some Velveeta Shells & Cheese for lunch.

And hey, if you buy a helicopter, great. If not, no biggie. As a male voiceover explains, "Either way, he gets to fly helicopters all day. I'm talkin' Da Vinci-style flying machines."

The voiceover nicely captures the character's attitude like a rap over a sparse bed of drums and synthesizer. The bigger challenge, however, is convincing consumers that this guy would rather cook—albeit with the help of a friend—than just grab a slice of pizza. In short, how do you make packaged foods hip?

I wouldn't bet against Wieden, given its success with a certain men's deodorant. In fact, one of the creative directors on the new Velveeta campaign, Eric Baldwin, used to be a key player on Old Spice.

Future ads will feature a limo driver and an aquarium store owner. There's also a microsite, EatLikeThatGuy.com, where you can personalize lines like, "Eat like that guy you know that has a great telephone voice that makes him sound a lot taller," plug in a friend's name and post to Facebook. The campaign will continue into next year.

CREDITS

Client: Kraft's Velveeta Shells & Cheese

Campaign: "Eat like that guy you know"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman, Eric Baldwin

Copywriter: Laddie Peterson

Art Director: James Moslander

Producer: Melanie Fedunok

Account Team: Ken Smith, Jennifer Segerholt, Alissa Sheely

Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman

Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Radical Media

Director: Steve Miller

Director of the :15s: James Moslander, W+K

Executive Producers: Donna Portaro, Frank Scherma

Line Producer: Kathy Rhodes

Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial

Editors: Tommy Harden, Steve Sprinkel

Postproduction Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer

Postproduction Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

Visual Effects Companies: A52, Elastic

Visual Effects Lead: Andy Barrios

2-D Artists: Patrick Murphy, Steve Wolff

Computer Graphics Lead: Chris Janney

Computer Graphics Artists: Andy Lewis, Kirk Shintani

Flame Assistants: Dan Ellis, Kevin Stokes

Producer: Meredith Tomasulo