Kraft Adopts 9-Year-Old’s Cheese Tube “Innovation”

2019-10-02 by Ronn Torossian
Kraft Adopts 9-Year-Old’s Cheese Tube “Innovation”

“Cheese is amazing.”

These are the words of a St. Louis fourth-grader who came up with a fix for her mid-class snack cravings. After watching a back-to-school prank video on YouTube, the 9-year-old from Missouri decided to fill an empty lip balm tube with pieces of cheese from Aldi’s.

“I was just looking on YouTube because I was bored and I found this video and I decided to do it,” the girl, whose mother asked that her name not be published, said. “I just took some of my dad’s cheese, sliced it up, and put it in the chapstick container.”

Soon thereafter, her mother posted a photo of her daughter’s creation to Twitter and invited a stream of support the world over.

“Your daughter is living in 2079 and we are all still here in 2019,” wrote one Twitter user. “My sides and face hurt from laughing. I am also ashamed because I never thought of this,” replied another.

In a brilliant bandwagoning move by the Kraft marketing team, the cheese giant has published a mock-up of her invention: Lip Snackers reads the tube.

“OMG. Let’s get our attorneys together to chat,” reads a Twitter reply by the inventors’ mother.

Piggybacking on an existing online viral trend is nothing new. When IHOP announced that it was changing its name to IHOB, fans and brands alike were left to speculate on what the “B” might stand for. The name change garnered over 18,000 comments and 13,000 shares on Twitter in just a few days and proved a boon for parallel businesses.

Chiquita, for example, jumped into the fray when it suggested the new acronym stood for “International House of Bananas”, complete with a re-worked brand image for the former pancake house.

When IHOP admitted that the proposed name-change was a ruse to promote their burger menus, brands like Wendy’s, White Castle and Burger King were quick to jump into the trending topic in a bid to showcase their respective marketing teams’ own wit and banter.

“We are excited to announce that we will be switching our name to Pancake Castle,” read a tweet by White Castle.

Wendy’s took a slightly sassier tone. “Not really afraid of the burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard,” read a Twitter reply by the brand in response to one comment.

Not to be outdone, Burger King went as far as to change its logo and Twitter handle for a day in a bid to rebrand as “Pancake King,” rounding a campaign meant to promote IHOP’s burgers that became an industry-wide competition to get into the spotlight.

Done right, bandwagoning an existing viral trend can be a clever way to get noticed. It pays, then, to keep abreast of trends — especially those not obviously related to your industry.

As for our young inventor, her mother says this wasn’t her daughter’s first attempt at a portable snack: she once tried making a Popsicle in a lip balm tube. Watch this space.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities