Best Global Green Brands 2014

chew on this

Wheat Thins Calls You, But Don't Call It a Cracker

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 5, 2011 07:30 PM

Wheat Thins has a cameo on tonight’s People’s Choice Awards on CBS. The background to its new spot, above: The brand has been socially marketing, as BC covered with its wobbly foray into the Facebook/Twittersphere in July with the launch of its “The Crunch Is Calling” campaign.

The social campaign, dubbed Twitterventions, garnered a million views on YouTube, but raised doubts about authenticity when Portland, Oregon tweeter, Derek Tzeo, called them outright “uber fake.” The above video, titled "Uber Real," aims to settle that score.

The brand is sponsoring the Viral Video Star category on tonight’s awards program — and a taped segment will show the now infamous Wheat Thins crew arriving at the winner’s home, reward in hand.

No longer just a platform for cheese or dips, Kraft Foods' Nabisco division is now repositioning Wheat Thins as a standalone snack. Never mind the old "Slip a Ritz" tagline that ran in Canada, showing how Ritz crackers were proud to play Ginger Rogers to a spreadable Fred Astaire. Wheat Thins doesn't want to be known as "just" a cracker.

The genesis of Wheat Thins as snackable items dates back to TV commercials in the 1980s featuring Sandy Duncan and the jingle: “Wheat Thins — something like a cracker, but more like a snack.”

As consumers embrace healthier snacking, baked, whole grain snacks are top of mind – both Wheat Thins attributes since 1947. Still, as PepsiCo might attest with its inability to turn natural healthy attributes into a powershouse snack brand with Frito-Lays' just-sold True North brand, that's not always an easy sell.

“When consumers talk about snacks, they look at Wheat Thins in the same basket as other snacks like pretzels, potato chips and popcorn,” commented Jim Low, marketing director at Kraft, to the New York Times. “Wheat Thins is one of the least topped crackers in the cracker category — so we realized we needed to act more like a snack.”

In addition to its millennial-wooing social media stealth campaign last year, Wheat Thins marketed the brand on college campuses and at festivals like Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, handing out more than 5 million samples.

Wheat Thins — that's one cracker (er, snack) that refuses to be topped.

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