Philadelphia Cream Cheese offers therapy for homebound couples

Dive Brief:

  • Kraft Heinz brand Philadelphia Cream Cheese is promoting its new cheesecake crumble with a campaign that aims to ease the tension that couples experience over the last bite of dessert as Valentine’s Day approaches. The brand is also offering people a chance to win a session with a couples therapist to help work out their disagreements, per an announcement.
  • Philadelphia created a one-minute video showing reality TV couple Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon arguing over the last bite of dessert as a couples therapist interjects with her analysis of the dispute. To help couple celebrate Valentine’s Day, Philadelphia is offering free packages of the dessert on Feb. 9-14 to users of the Ibotta rewards app while supplies last.
  • The video also urges viewers to visit the Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble website, which offers a way to win $150 toward couples therapy. The campaign is a playful spin on new research from brand that shows a majority of couples have argued over dessert, and that many have sought therapy due to the added stress of spending so much time together during the pandemic.

Dive Insight:

Philadelphia Cream Cheese has created a clever campaign for its new single-serving dessert based on internal research showing that about half (53%) of couples have argued over sharing the last bite of dessert. The brand is playing up the “last-bite dilemma” in its short video that playfully dramatizes those arguments in a mock dispute between Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon. With Valentine’s Day approaching this weekend, the video also suggests a way to ease the tension with the new Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble product.

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The sweepstakes to win money for couples therapy is rooted in recent research, with the brand citing a survey that about a third of couples have considered going to couples therapy because they’re spending more time together during the pandemic. The prize consists of a $150 payment through Venmo, which people can spend any way they want, but the theme of promoting harmonious relationships is consistent with typical promotions timed for Valentine’s Day, while also acknowledging the domestic realities of life during the pandemic.

By offering free packages of the dessert through Ibotta and a chance to win cash in a sweepstakes, Philadelphia can gather more data from consumers who are most likely to respond to future offers and become brand loyalists. With Google and Apple taking steps to give people more control over their online privacy, first-party data provided by consenting consumers have become a bigger priority for CPG brands to help with their online ad targeting and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales.

Philadelphia’s playful campaign for its cheesecake crumble is its latest humorous effort to promote its products during seasonal occasions. As the holiday shopping season got under way, the brand introduced a mock video game device that played off the massive demand for Microsoft and Sony’s first new gaming consoles in seven years. Philadelphia described the “Philly Series 5” as a “stunning advancement in cheesecake technology” in a short video showing people excitedly opening the gift and making cheesecake. A year earlier, the brand created a true crime-style campaign that poked fun at conspiracy theorists with a 90-second mockumentary. Philadelphia also created a novelty device called the “Bagel That,” claiming the gadget could turn anything into a bagel by punching a hole in it.

The marketing push comes as Kraft Heinz has experienced strong sales during the pandemic, reporting a 6% increase in sales in October for its most recent quarter. 

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