Kraft Mac & Cheese teams with Netflix for star-studded film deal

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Kraft Mac & Cheese has partnered with Netflix to promote the new film “The Adam Project,” starring Ryan Reynolds and premiering on March 11, according to information shared with Marketing Dive.
  • In addition to featuring Kraft Mac & Cheese in the film, a series of spots featuring Reynolds and child-actor Walker Scobell, who plays a young Reynolds in the movie, will air across TV, online video and the food brand’s social channels. In the ads, the two actors are making a Kraft commercial, but Scobell messes up his lines and Reynolds comically offers assistance.
  • The Kraft Heinz Company has made a bigger effort in recent years to integrate its brands into popular culture. The Netflix partnership helps accomplish this in a way that compensates for the lack of ads on the streaming service.

Dive Insight:

As brands vie for cultural relevance, Kraft has made a concerted effort to integrate itself into the cultural landscape. For example, Kraft Singles recently teamed up with musician Kelis of “Milkshake” fame to write a new single promoting Kraft Singles.

“The Adam Project,” a time travel film where a man teams up with his younger self, aligns with Kraft Mac & Cheese’s latest messaging around how the meal can be enjoyed by people of any age. The brand has leaned heavily into nostalgia in recent campaigns as a way to establish itself as a cultural mainstay among consumers of all ages. While the food is most commonly associated with children and college students, Kraft has made an effort to position itself as a comforting food for adults, too.

Streaming giant Netflix is subscriber funded, and does not run advertisements on its site. Partnering with brands such as Kraft Mac & Cheese allows the service to generate revenue and word-of-mouth through clever product placement and partnerships. Recently, Netflix partnered with Old Spice for a series of “The Witcher” inspired scents, all of which draw from the fantasy world depicted in the Netflix series.

This time around, Netflix’s tie-up with Kraft astutely leverages Ryan Reynolds, who co-founded and sold the marketing agency Maximum Effort. The agency worked on the new Kraft Mac & Cheese campaign and is known for cleverly lampooning traditional ads.

Netflix has a global subscriber base of 221.8 million, with 75 million in the U.S. and Canada alone. It is the most popular streaming service, followed by Amazon Prime. Product placement in Netflix movies has the chance to reach millions of people, making the service a prime candidate for brands looking to engage streaming viewers.

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