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#PRWIN: Kraft’s “Swear Like a Mother” Campaign Celebrates Imperfect Parenting

The Ultimate of Good PR is Keeping it Real!

Kraft celebrates mothers with a #SwearLikeAMother campaign that marries two taboo items (swearing in front of your kids and serving them processed foods) into one funny “get out of jail free” card for all moms.


Swearing is widely perceived as a social taboo, especially when a parent does it in front of their children. However, a survey conducted by Kraft claims that 74 percent of moms curse in front of their children.1 Apparently, this is a conservative estimate as a 2009 article in The Telegraph reported that 9 out of 10 parents swear in front of their children.Family enjoying pasta

In 2017, Kraft partnered with Melissa Mohr, author of “Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing” to assist mothers in curbing their swearing habits with some clean word choices. In the video released on Mother’s Day by Kraft and agency CB+P, Mohr notes that if you’re trying to film a viral video in front of ‘caffeinated gorillas’, you might say “What the Frog! You’re acting like flipping goof nuggets! Take that horse hockey outside!” The less tasteful alternative rendered after by Mohr wasn’t so delightful: ‘Calm the f#$% down and get your little a#$%@ outside!’ When providing the not-so-clean example, Mohr’s mouth would be covered by the branded noodle to not only hide her cussing, but as a clever method of product placement. It’s safe to chalk that up as a Win for Kraft’s marketing department.

 

Take a peek at the commercial for yourself!

 

Social Media Marketing and Engagement Wins:

The Swear Like a Mother Campaign amassed tremendous results with 4.5 million views, 70 million impressions and 800,000 engagements including use of a Twitter hashtag strategy—and that’s with the production of the video and usage of minimal paid on social to get it started.3

  • The Consumer Truth: Swearing in front of your kids is not discerned as perfect parenting behavior, but it’s ok in moderation as all parents make mistakes in their everyday life. There’s no such thing as a “superparent.”

‘Flipping goof nuggets!’ Kraft has advice for swearing moms in new Mac & Cheese ad ~CNBC

  • Product Relevance: Kraft Mac and Cheese is a convenient, inexpensive and an easy to serve food kids love to eat. Yet, serving it isn’t considered the healthiest alternative for children nor socially endorsed as optimal parenting behavior, but it’s ok to eat in moderation and nobody’s perfect.Mother and daughter eating popcorn

Kraft encourages moms to ‘swear like a mother’ in viral campaign ~Marketing Dive

  • Creative Execution: Launching a campaign and posting the video on Mother’s Day couldn’t have worked more in Kraft’s favor. Pointing at the imperfections of mothers in their quest for earning the title of “superparent”, Kraft’s authentic delivery, real situations and timely bleeps connected Kraft to imperfect parenting and how it’s unique and unexpected.

Moms Admit to Swearing in Front of Their Kids, and Kraft Mac and Cheese Is Totally Chill About It ~Adweek

The underlining and undervalued ingredient for a PR campaign is how it connects with your target audience. Kraft didn’t strive for anything flashy. They went about a PR campaign like a company should by performing market research, partnering with a relevant personality to convey your companies’ message and to execute the original idea presented. The original idea in this case was to have mothers be at the focal point of the conversation and highlight their imperfections. It was never about the product…even though it always is. It’s just another textbook example of how PR and marketing go together like PB&J… or like swearing and Kraft Mac and Cheese. At the end of the video, Mohr states “sometimes we have to swear and that’s okay… nobody’s f#$%@$% perfect.”

Kraft’s #SwearLikeAMother messaging was never about the product (even though it always is).

So, go swear like a mother f#$%@ and eat some Kraft Mac n Cheese too while you’re at it (in moderation)!

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  1. Murphy, Brian. “What the @#$%: Kraft Salutes Moms who Curse in Front of their Kids,” The Sacramento Bee; May 5, 2017.
  2. Irvine, Chris. “Nine out of 10 Parents Swear in Front of Children,” The Telegraph; February 14, 2009.
  3. Cohen, Norty. “Hey, Friend, It’s Your Brand Calling,” The Marketing Insider; August 13, 2018.

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