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Kraft cooks up macaroni art app to drive brand engagement

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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

The Dinner, Not Art iPad app

Kraft Foods is driving engagement for its Macaroni and Cheese brand via a clever new app built around the well-established practice of gluing dried macaroni noodles on paper to create pictures.

The Dinner, Not Art iPad app is positioned as helping customers not waste the boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese they have at home without having to give up making macaroni art, which can now be done via the app. There is also a cause-marketing angle, with Kraft donating 10 real noodles to Feeding American for every digital noodle used in the app.

Our product is used for macaroni art every day, but Kraft Macaroni Cheese is for Dinner, Not Art, said Noelle OMara, senior brand manager at Kraft Foods, Northfield, IL. We realized that we are in a great position to provide a fun new way to make macaroni art and save the real noodles for dinner.

Our consumers have been interacting with the brand and product for generations by making real macaroni art, she said. Our goal was to update that practice for the present day while saving the real noodles for dinner.

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The iPad just made sense. The user experience of the iPad app is a great way to keep macaroni art hands-on.

An artful app
The app is part of a bigger campaign around the Dinner, Not Art concept that includes a TV spot which was launched last week. At the end of the spot, viewers are directed to a Web site, dinnernotart.com, and to the Apple App Store, where the app can be downloaded.

The TV spot will air through Oct. The campaign will also have an online media buy starting later this month and Kraft will promote the app with its fans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Dinner, Not Art campaign and app were developed by agency Crispin Porter Bogusky.

With the free app, users can choose their canvas, place noodles, rotate and size them as well as use a paintbrush to create macaroni art.

Users can also glue down their art and save it to their digital refrigerator.

Kraft will be posting some of the art to its Facebook and Pinterest pages and will be donating up to 110,000,000 real noodles to Feeding America as users create digital macaroni art.

Integrating mobile
Kraft Foods has been active in the mobile space for several years, integrating it into the marketing strategy for many of its brands.

For example, Kraft Foods brand Planters recently ran mobile ads within the Men’s Health mobile applications to promote a new nut mix (see story).

Dinner, Not Art is the latest initiative designed to connect Kraft and families in the digital space, Ms. OMara said.

We continue to push the boundaries for our brand in engaging with our consumer in new and different ways, she said. While we are still active in traditional media channels, like TV, we made a greater commitment towards social media.

Through Twitter and Facebook, we launched Mac Jinx and Mac Cheese TV last year. This year we partnered with Golden Voice Ted Williams for a Valentines Day Twitter program that also benefited Feeding America.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York