Kraft Peanut Butter is running a promotion which allows Canadians separated from their loved ones this holiday season to send them hugs via internet-connected teddy bears. Canadians who use “#KraftBearHugs” on social to share who they would like to give a bear hug to will be entered into a competition to win a pair of Wi-Fi enabled bears.
To launch the promotion, Kraft Canada created 10 foot tall versions of Crunchy and Smoothie, the teddy bears which have been Kraft Peanut Butter’s brand characters in Canada for more than 50 years, and placed them in public spaces in Vancouver and Toronto, so people could send their loved ones virtual hugs from one city to another.
For Canadians who don’t live in Vancouver and Toronto, the also launched smaller plush Crunchy and Smoothie bears with Wi-Fi connectivity, which people can use to share ‘hugs’ over the internet – the bears have bowties which light up when people send virtual hugs.
There are 100 pairs of bears available to be won; the approximate retail value of the prizes is Canadian $40,000. More information about the campaign can be found at kraftbearhugs.com. There is no purchase necessary. To enter, consumers have to create an original social media post consisting of a maximum of 500 characters addressing the question of who they would want to send a bear hug to and why the hug would bring them closer together. Entrants can, depending on what the social media site they are using allows, include pictures and videos.
Entries will be judged on uniqueness, creativity, togetherness and distance, in descending order of importance.
To coincide with the promotion, Kraft Canada released to results of a new survey which found that more than one in three Canadians (37%) will be apart from their family during the holidays. Distance is the main reason many will be separated from their families this holiday season (59%), followed by finances (23%).
Nina Patel, Marketing Director of Brand Build for Kraft Heinz Canada, says: “Kraft Peanut Butter wants to help Canadians stick together – even when they’re physically apart – and there’s no better way to do that, than with the power of a bear hug. Our iconic Crunchy and Smoothie bears have been beloved for generations by Canadians and represent togetherness and that familiar sense of comfort that our loved ones bring.”
Crunchy and Smoothie have been symbols of the Kraft Peanut Butter brand in Canada for over 50 years. Originally, the brand’s glass jars were shaped like teddy bears, and now they appear on the packaging of the jars. In 2014, Kraft Peanut Butter introduced new-look bears (with some controversy from brand fans) and released limited-edition plush teddy bears as part of its ‘Stick Together’ campaign. This campaign was massively successful, and the brand says it is taking it to the next level with the new Wi-Fi-enabled BearHug Bears.
The strategy behind the campaign aims to imbue Kraft Peanut Butter with an emotional value above and beyond pure product benefits.
Kraft worked with marketing agency Rethink, PR agency Edelman and media agency Starcom to create the campaign.