Kraft Foods Foundation

The Challenge

Increasing awareness and collaboration   

Kraft Foods Foundation (now Mondelez International) had a long history of support for year-round youth health and well-being programs in Chicago, its hometown. For nearly 10 years, a companywide program, Kraft Great Kids, worked with more than half a dozen program partners for activities that ranged from free family museum admissions to library story hours. While many local families took advantage of these programs, the foundation wanted to increase audience awareness of the full scope of Kraft Great Kids. They hired Marj Halperin to develop a public relations initiative that would both raise the profile of the program and generate more collaboration between grantees.


The Solution

Bringing color to the messaging and media outreach

Marj Halperin and team produced a series of summer festivals in communities around Chicago to bring all partners together for the first time. We led a team of grantees through a collaborative planning process and created Hoopla, a series of four free family festivals that drew more than 6,000 people in summer 2011.

The festivals rotated among partner venues, with each partner providing a station for engaging family activities in four diverse Chicago-area communities. Marj Halperin and team designed a colorful and engaging brand identity with tents, banners and flags that reflected the Kraft Foods brand. We carried the theme throughout print, web, and onsite materials.

We knew we’d need a multi-faceted approach to reach as many of Kraft’s key audiences and encourage participation in Hoopla. We created a Hoopla-specific microsite, brochures, and kid-friendly passports to get the word out, while also targeting television, print and online media. We received great reception from the media, but wanted something more. The team worked with WGN-TV to stage a mini-festival on the studio’s front lawn, which served as a backdrop for news reports, sports and weather cut-aways throughout the morning.

The Results

Nontraditional promotion brings fun to families   

We secured more than 110 media placements in 50 traditional and online media outlets, including city and suburban newspapers, family magazines, and mommy blogs. Our wire services placements took Hoopla news national in publications reaching as far as California. The WGN mini-festival yielded numerous Hoopla-themed segments during their top-rated local morning news show, including cutaways, weather, and sports reports, along with client interviews.

Although free, the Hoopla events were ticketed, and nearly 1,500 additional tickets were reserved in the 24 hours after WGN’s programming, helping exceed our target of 4,000 guests. A remarkable 99% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they had fun at Hoopla and would recommend it to friends. 93% were likely or very likely to attend year-round Great Kids programs now that they had experienced Hoopla, with a full 50% indicating they would participate in Kraft Great Kids year-round programming.

By thinking outside traditional event promotion, we brought our client the recognition their programs needed and built trust with one of Kraft’s key audiences: families.