Kraft Heinz marketing to school children draws some criticism


The “textbooks” are part of a larger “Taste Some Play Every School Day” campaign, which is meant to highlight Kraft Heinz’s self-described “four iconic kids brands.” Starting Sept. 6, the “textbooks” became available online, no purchase necessary and while supplies last. Fans 18 and older will have to enter their first name, last name, email address and home address, and have the option to give their phone number, in order to receive a book. Mischief handled the campaign, which will be supported with in-store shopper marketing and on social media. All four items were out of stock within hours of announcing the promotion, according to the company’s website.

For every book claimed, Kraft Heinz will donate $10 to the non-profit organization First Book, whose goal is to ensure quality education access for all children, and also make a one-time donation of $50,000. 

“At Kraft Heinz, we believe education can be a fun-filled adventure full of imagination and with our books, we aim to reignite the enthusiasm for learning,” Anna James, associate brand manager at Kraft Heinz, said in a press release.

But Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth In Advertising, points out that the books don’t seem to contain any language that they are an ad. “It’s a non-traditional ad format,” she said. “But kids will see it as entertainment or an activity rather than marketing.”

The textbooks could be a form of market research, suggested Christy Lebor, partner and director of strategy at Smashbrand, a CPG package design and branding agency. “I would think parents fill out their information, get a survey, and then Kraft Heinz can use that data for a sell story [to school food directors],” she said. “A parent squeezed by inflation might be happy to get their kid some free food, and the kid is excited to have something come in the mail.”


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2023-09-06 19:30:20

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