Kraft Heinz, the food company, is tapping into the power of “actvertising” to supplement its messaging with tangible actions that can build its brands in meaningful ways.

The firm’s “act not ad” philosophy “helps people make progress in their lives by building food brands that are timely in culture,” according to Magen Hanrahan, Kraft Heinz’s vp/marketing and media services. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Kraft Heinz supplements advertising with “actvertising”.)

Hanrahan outlined this concept at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Masters of Marketing Week, where she presented alongside Shawna Ross, executive director/planning at mcgarrybowen, the agency for Kraft Heinz’s Oscar Mayer hot dogs and bacon, Kool-Aid drink mix, and Planters nuts.

“When we think about what brand acts do well, we think about creating culture,” said Ross. “The way it gets started is to quit talking and begin doing. ‘Actvertising’ is an extension of advertising.”

Although she allowed that the program, at first blush, may sound “gimmicky or stunty”, both the agency and its client agree that it grounds “meaningful connections with the consumer”.

Resting at its core is a “simple statement,” Ross told the ANA audience in Orlando, Florida. “When you know what you believe, you know how to behave.”

To that end, “We work really hard at developing conviction-led brands. We spend a lot of time with our clients asking, ‘What do you believe?’ ‘What do you stand for?’ and ‘Do you have an enemy?’”

In tackling such questions, the agency can understand which actions can support Kraft Heinz’s bands. “We’re really ... digging into [the brand] DNA to think about culture, to think about context,” Ross said.

Kraft Heinz’s “actvertising” has extended from a tour of Oscar Mayer’s iconic “Weinermobile” vehicle in championing its healthier hot dogs to launching pants with stretchy waistbands to promote Stove Top stuffing at Thanksgiving.

One of the primary strengths of this “act not ad” playbook, Hanrahan added, is that the company must “walk the walk, really making sure that we are putting our money where our mouth is”.

Sourced from WARC