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Kraft’s Super Bowl Ad Will Be a Real-Time Family Affair

Most Super Bowl advertisers spend weeks assembling a glitzy ad. They hire celebrities, line up special effects and license hit songs. But Kraft intends to build its commercial on the fly this coming Sunday.

Its 30-second ad will be made over the course of the day, made out of contributions from families sharing various photos and videos of being together on Twitter or Instagram.  It is slated to air during the third quarter of NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl LII on February 4, says Anne Field, Kraft’s director of brand building.

“Anybody could be in it,” she says in an interview.

Kraft has placed an emphasis on families since December, an effort built on research showing mealtime brings families closer together. Kraft’s Field says the company is interested in “all families, however you define it.” Kraft’s outreach follows a parade of big consumer-product giants that are working to expand to broadening consumer niches the companies typically didn’t work so hard to attract.

In recent years, supermarket giants like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and General Mills have all created ads that celebrate diversity, recognizing people with disabilities; same-sex couples; and families with members of different races and nationalities. “We are open to any and all,” says Field. “There’s no one right way ‘to family.’”

The Kraft executive was light on detail, but the company, part of Kraft Heinz, which was created in 2013 when the two large food companies merged, expects to have a crew at the ready on Sunday starting in the morning. Consumers can start offering photos at 6 a.m. eastern on Game Day. Kraft will seed the effort with ads on TV, social and digital, as well as a pre-game commercial on NBC. The photo collection stops at 8:30 p.m. Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett is helping to craft the commercial.

Kraft isn’t the first Super Bowl advertiser to try something in real time.  Last year, Hyundai tapped director Peter Berg for a complex effort that involved taking footage from an overseas U.S. military base and airing it just after the final whistle of Fox’s Super Bowl LI broadcast. To be sure, the pricing for such a slot is typically cheaper than in-game Super Bow ads. Mars’ Snickers last year ran a live ad starring actor Adam Driver a a hungry cowboy. The effort proved confusing to some viewers.

And there have been others. In 1981, Schlitz ran a live taste test during the Super Bowl broadcast pitting its brew against Michelob.

Kraft joins the Super Bowl fray a few years after Heinz used the Super Bowl to pitch its ketchup and various condiments. In 2016, Heinz offered a panoramic commercial featuring a fleet of dogs clad in hot dog buns racing toward a family of Heinz dressings, all to the strains of Harry Nilsson’s “Without You.” Clearly, people who enter the Kraft family contest won’t feel so alone.

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