CHALLENGE: To make Kraft Dressing relevant to women again, to drive engagement with fresh content, and to strengthen the association between Kraft’s Zesty Italian and current women’s lifestyle topics.


SOLUTION: Create relevance with real-time content and dynamic advertising distribution surrounding topical and entertaining editorial in ads.


RESULT: The content-driven ads performed 4-6x better than rich media benchmarks with a 12.6% interaction rate versus 2.2%.*


Kraft launched the "Let's Get Zesty" integrated campaign in April 2013 to reinvigorate its Zesty Italian Salad Dressing. The campaign, featuring a shirtless male model, was designed to reach women, ages 25-54, in a playful and flirtatious manner. The goal was to recognize consumers as more than just moms, but also as women with their own distinctive tastes and interests.


Kraft wanted to create an emotional connection that would get women to reconsider their default brand choice of Italian dressing. And while a hunky model would certainly attract their attention, additional content was needed to further drive engagement. Kraft wanted to feature relevant, trending content surrounding topics that female consumers would find interesting and entertaining.

The content had to be accessible directly in the ad unit, so that customers could engage with the brand at the point of interest without navigating to another browser page. And to stay current, Kraft wanted to respond quickly with content that would address real-time news and events that consumers might be interested in even after the campaign had gone live.


Kraft worked with a team — including Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), LiquidThread, BEING, publisher, and Flite — to identify consumer conversations around three key topics that the target customer would find most appealing: fashion, celebrities, and food.

The team met on a weekly basis to determine upcoming content to feature. Kraft provided editorial direction, then the team wrote articles about the topics and posted them to

Flite partnered with the creative agency, BEING, on the design direction, and Flite’s in-house creative team built content-rich ads that pulled in the article feeds directly into ad units. Since the Glam team was creating new articles every week, the ads always featured fresh and relevant content throughout the campaign, reaching audiences all over the web.


The content in the ads was informative and juicy. For example, the topic of celebrities included articles such as “Tantalizing Celeb Breakfasts” and “Celebrity Workout Secrets” that grabbed the user’s attention. For food, the content included Italian food recipes, tasty summer side dishes, and ideas for salad toppings. For beauty, it meant summer beauty tips, trending hairstyles, and homemade hair masks.

Beyond content, the ads were also full of interactive functionality. Scrolling capabilities allowed consumers to read full articles within the ad, which helped increase time-on-unit and brand engagement. Consumers could also click to see expanded photos, tweet, or link to or to explore similar articles.

The Flite Platform’s capacity for real-time updates also allowed Kraft to take advantage of unexpected insights and opportunities to engage with customers. Around Mother’s Day 2013, Kraft noticed that trending topics surrounding food often came back to “breakfast,” and wanted to insert the topic into upcoming holiday ad units. Using the Flite Platform, Kraft quickly streamed content about breakfast-in-bed and recipes into ads. The article featured ideas like heart-shaped pancakes and freshly-picked flowers to complement a bowl of ripe berries. Another idea was a zesty and flavorful omelette that featured a side salad with Kraft Salad Dressing drizzled on top.


The Kraft Zesty campaign ran from April to August 2013 and was a huge success. To test whether the content-driven Flite ads were more effective, Kraft simultaneously ran control ad units that were standard banners.

The difference in performance was staggering — the Flite units far outperformed rich media benchmarks by 400-600%. The 728x90 ad had a 12.6% interaction rate, versus 2.2% for the comparable rich media creative. The 300x250 unit had an interaction rate of 12% versus rich media benchmarks of 3.3%. Additionally, scheduling content to match the timing of pertinent events, such as Mother’s Day, yielded spikes in ad engagement.

The higher engagement produced wins for Kraft in the grocery aisle. Kraft Salad Dressing saw a 3.1% increase in volume sold, and an incredible 11.3% increase in the Zesty Italian flavor of dressing which was the focus of the campaign.

The huge difference in results confirms that contextually relevant and content-driven ads not only lead to increased brand engagement, but also drives sales as well. By aligning the brand with fresh content, Kraft strengthened their position as a core part in their customer’s everyday lives.  

* Google DoubleClick Display Benchmarks, April - August 2013, rich media.