Combining Truth with Creativity

May 22, 2015

Combining Truth with Creativity

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Have you seen the “Newstalgic” campaign from Kraft Mac & Cheese? If not, you should check it out here before reading any further. The pictures on the right and below are just a brief sampling of the delights of the site.

Today we’re pondering an philosophical question, and the campaign from Kraft is at the root of it. What role does truth play in advertising? What about combining truth with creativity – is there a place for it? Or does creativity call for a re-imagining of the truth? 

Combining Truth with Creativity

Combining Truth with Creativity

The site features a “time machine;” visitors scroll through the decades, noting the major dates in history which coincide with the launch of all-time favorite mac & cheese flavors.  Except, something smells fishy as you work your way through the site, right?  Maybe that you have never heard of “Cheesy Southwest Chipotle,” “Three Cheese Jalapeño,” “Buffalo Cheddar,” or “Garlic and Herb Alfredo”?

That’s because you haven’t.  Kraft launched these new varieties in 2013, but markets them as “new-stalgic,” which apparently gives them free license to pretend the mac & cheese is an old family favorite.

But, they’re not outright lying.  If you look closely, you’ll notice a little box in the bottom left corner stating, “Even though these events seem familiar, some of them might not be real.”  You can’t say they didn’t tell you.

Is Kraft’s tactic ingenious or unethical?  At RedMoxy, we’re all about being open and upfront with our clients, so to us, Kraft’s campaign poses an interesting question. Is this a step in the wrong direction? Or is this creative genius at work? How can we tell the difference? While we don’t pride ourselves on our homemade mac & cheese (at least not yet), we have a feeling that even if we did, you wouldn’t be seeing fake nostalgic mac & cheese coming out of our office. Then again, the campaign is doing what it is supposed to: it is raising brand awareness. We’re having this conversation, aren’t we?

What do you think?  Are you upset by the campaign or congratulating Kraft on its ingenuity?

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