Kraft Foods Focuses Messaging on Facebook

Global food giant Kraft Foods has set its eyes on Facebook, pumping up at least three campaigns for Wheat Thins (crackers), Oreo (cookies) and Crystal Light (flavored beverage) in recent weeks.

The Facebook and Twitter campaigns are paired with television and music venue sponsorship. Specifically, Kraft Foods is the main sponsor of the 2010 Lilith Tour, which is a music festival celebrating women on tour across the U.S. through the summer. Crystal Light is the sponsor of the tour in part to promote its new Crystal Light Pure Fitness sports drink mix.

Overall, Kraft Foods has total revenues of $48 billion, markets products in more than 160 countries and has several brands that exceed $1 billion revenue annually, including Oreo.

Of the three Kraft products, two directly tie their products with Facebook promotion for live music sponsorships. Levi’s was present in a big way at the Austin, Texas South by Southwest festival by co-sponsoring a venue, the Levi’s/Fader Fort, with what the company reported were good results. We’ve written about similar campaigns in the Inside Facebook Marketing Bible.

Odwalla followed with a similar promotion at the Coachella music festival in California. While Odwalla gave out free tickets to Coachella on Facebook, the company also set up a booth to promote its “Living Flavor Vending Machine,” meant to provide a stage for both musical acts and fans to perform at the actual festival.

Crystal Light has seemingly taken music promotion to a new level by becoming a primary sponsor of the Lilith Fair, promoting its products both on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the actual concerts with its “Refreshing Oasis” booth that includes massage chairs and free samples. Mary Garris, senior associate brand manager of Crystal Light said in a press release that the company’s presence at the Lilith Fair was important to concert goers’ hydration, and since Crystal Light is a powder to be mixed with water, the mix “helps women enjoy drinking the water they need.”

Meanwhile, Wheat Thins and Oreo have been dedicating more time and attention to Facebook. The New York Times reported that Oreo has given its Facebook Page a “global look” and Wheat Thins has been rewarding tweets about its crackers by awarding fans free product. On Facebook Wheat Thins has been promoting its sponsorship of the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee and supplementing it with a YouTube channel, Facebook presence and Twitter monitoring to the theme “The crunch is calling.”

Oreo is changing up its Page to be less “American-oriented” to reflect the fact that many comments on Facebook come from other countries, apparently half of the 5 million fans are outside the U.S. This is reflected in the company’s weekly selection of a “world’s fan of the week.”

That a large, global company like Kraft Foods is just now pushing its social media presence is perhaps a bit surprising, although earlier this year we wrote about Proctor & Gamble’s push to be more “bullish” on Facebook, too. That two global conglomerates are pointedly beginning to focus energy and money on social media is a tangible testament to Facebook’s growing marketing power.