Just in time for the back to school season, Kraft Foods is marketing string cheese that looks like crayons. Kraft has joined with the well known crayon manufacturer, Crayola, for an in-store promotion that will run through October of 2012. The specially packaged cheese is available as Kraft String Cheese west of Pittsburgh, and as Polly-O String Cheese east of Pittsburgh.
The outer package, designed by marketing specialist SoulSight, resembles a box Of Crayola crayons. Each individual piece of cheese is wrapped to look like a crayon in one of six traditional Crayola colors. The package also contains a $3.00 coupon for Crayola Crayons and includes a link to printable, web activities pages designed to inspire the creativity of young cheese lovers everywhere.
According to Marlene Sawhney, associate brand manager, Cheese Marketing, Kraft, the promotion is targeting “a mom of 6- to 12-year-old children who raises them to become well-rounded adults. Crayola focuses on unleashing a kid’s creativity for them to grow up and inspire the world. Since Kraft and Polly-O String Cheese are wholesome snacks that kids love, mom feels that it helps them teach their children how to make smart decisions.”
While parents will be relieved to know that their kids are only eating healthy cheese and not art supplies, critics of mass marketing to children may find this promotional campaign to be a bit over the top. In response to any criticism, Kraft has said, “Consumers love the packaging, especially the individual crayons, as well as the activity pages that are offered online.”
What do you think? Is this a useful way to inspire creativity in our children or just another cynical way to sell a product? Are Kraft and Crayola really trying to promote education with their marketing program, or are they just exploiting an iconic kid’s product for profit?