Perk up folks, and pay attention please.
Maxwell House, one of the most iconic brands in the vast product portfolio of Northfield, IL.-based Kraft Foods, is getting a top-to-bottom makeover. And it's doing so with the help of Portland's iconic Wieden+Kennedy advertising team.
The strategy isn't a new phenomenon at Kraft. In recent years the packaged foods and beverages behemoth has been refreshing many of its familiar brands and — most importantly — completely rethinking the way each is marketed.
In many instances Kraft (Nasdaq: KRFT) and its advertising mavens have opted to dump the dull, formulaic advertising that was the norm at Kraft for decades and really start to break through boundaries in a way that would have been unthinkable as recently 10 years ago. Remember that sultry hunk enlisted to move salad dressing last year?
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But unfortunately, the Maxwell House transformation now unfolding looks to be a misstep.
Which is surprising given that Kraft turned to the Wieden + Kennedy ad shop in Portland to develop the new ad campaign for Maxwell House, a coffee brand invented by traveling salesman Joel Cheek way back in 1892. In 1907, no less a personage than Teddy Roosevelt would drink Maxwell House and then mouth the line "Good To the Last Drop" that has been attached to the brand ever since.
And the famous line is still a factor in the new Maxwell House TV commercial from Wieden that is just now breaking.
But that special, compelling spark one expects to see in work from Wieden (remember the shop's brilliant rethink of the tired Old Spice deodorant brand?) is missing altogether in this Maxwell house spot featuring a nondescript middle-aged guy who wants to reacquaint viewers with "how good good is," an awkward line at best that becomes no less so as the 30-second commercial unspools.
With coffee cup in hand, the spot's hero is seen jogging along in a what could be a marathon, then hitting a home run at the ball park (again with mug in hand), and finally landing on the moon in full astronaut suit, once more brandishing his coffee mug as a prop.
The commercial's flat ad copy, which keeps trying to clarify what "good" is, only serves to make the less-than-awesome scenarios presented here seem even more leaden and humorless.
And the spot's ending, a rushed version of the "Good To the Last Drop" jingle, simply doesn't allow for any impact, which it absolutely should have.
Along with the new TV spot, consumers will find Maxwell House containers sporting a new look that showcases the iconic coffee drop (along with a lot of the color blue). And as part of the makeover, Kraft is expanding the Maxwell House flavors on offer in single-serve portions to include Original Roast and Master Blend.