Newspaper Advertising: Case study - Philadelphia Light

The story

Kraft Philadelphia has long held a place in the nation's heart as a delicious and creamy "bread spread". But the brand's versatility as a cooking ingredient had the potential to get women not only to use the brand more frequently, but to use more of it. However, the use of the brand as a cooking ingredient was not fully established, and for many, it was a new idea. The communications centred on positioning the brand as a versatile ingredient; encouraging occasional users to see that: "Philadelphia can bring a simple touch of inspiration to many everyday meals."

Kraft wanted to understand what role national newspapers could play in conjunction with TV; and, working with the Newspaper Marketing Agency, to test the hypothesis that together TV and newspapers were a stronger combination than either medium separately.

The newspaper creative was to feature a series of recipes and was to run alongside the "Heavenly angels" TV campaign. Pre-testing of the newspaper creative was seen as a key step in ensuring that the creative was not only communicating the proposition, but also had appetite appeal and synergy with TV's "heavenly" idea.

Qualitative research provided detailed consumer feedback. While the recipe approach (1-2) was strongly endorsed as providing "new news" and the idea of using Philadelphia as an ingredient was appealing, there were some executional issues. To enhance impact, different food shots were chosen and a brighter and lighter blue background aligned more strongly with consumers' concept of heaven. A further build was to pick up on the TV's colloquial and entertaining tone.

Consumers asked for lighter food recipes - more heavenly! Readers of the broadsheets wanted to see different recipes from the tabloid readers. The layout of the copy evolved, with a clearer recipe look and web address to help comprehension and ease of reading.

The recipes selected fitted with "light and heavenly". Recipes for dishes such as pasta spirals with Philly pesto (3) and salmon tagliatelle (4) ran in the quality papers, with the other more accessible recipes running in the tabloids (5-6). The heaven-like sky and tongue-in-cheek "angel" headlines were added to evoke the TV campaign.

The campaign ran in TV and newspapers in April and May last year. One of the advantages of the newspaper campaign was that, because newspaper advertising is habitual, the readers got a taste of a number of recipe ideas. And by using different sections of the paper, the campaign could reach different types of women, with different lifestyles.

The website traffic gives an idea of how women responded. Traffic to the recipe section of the website shot up - a 440 per cent increase. People always tear things out of the newspaper, but here was an example of newspapers sending their readers to the brand's website to find out more.

The sales results were strong. TNS analysis found that newspaper advertising generated an increase in Philadelphia's volume sales of 15 per cent. The combined effect of the newspaper and TV campaign generated a 26 per cent increase in Philadelphia value sales. What was important for Kraft was the role that the newspapers played in driving full-price sales. A high proportion, 68 per cent, of the sales generated by newspaper ads were at the non-promoted price.

But it wasn't just about sales. The campaign was designed to strengthen consumers' emotional connection to the brand. Millward Brown analysis of the campaign tracking found that those exposed to both TV and newspapers had a raised brand commitment whereas those who had only seen the TV showed no increase.

The qualitative pre-testing allowed us to strengthen the press creative significantly and the campaign tracking was very positive.

- Jan Strubel is the marketing manager at Philadelphia, Northern Europe.