Thursday, April 4

Kraft Zesty Italian

As they say, "sex sells," which I guess is the intention of the new campaign from salad dressing brand Kraft Zesty Italian

Now I am myself a self-proclaimed foodie, and I actually think that cooking is in fact quite sexy.  Nothing hotter than a person who knows their way around a kitchen.  And certainly the rise in the celebrity chef phenomenon is further proof. Plus if you've ever visited a great restaurant and had the chef visit your table, you know the rush of excitement.

So I get it.

But is it too gratuitous?  Sexy for sexy's sake. Consumers will be the judge of that, and Kraft is not alone in trying this approach.  Liquid Plumber recently "went there" with the launch of a new product in their lineup. 

I do like the integration with social media and Broadcast with Bravo, which is quite smart.

What do you think?  Does sex sell?  What's your experience?

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur


  1. Hi Jim,

    That was my first thought when I saw the commercial (or a couple of them from this same series)! Usually it seems that sexy is used and that is all that is remembered from the commercial, but the product or brand is not.

    I regretfully admit, even after I rolled my eyes at my wife - as soon as I saw the image of the white-T'd gentleman in the link to this posting - I immediately thought "Freakin' Zesty Kraft". Whether that turns into sales - I can't say, but for recognition: It at least worked on me.


  2. Big article in Ad Week this morning that Kraft swiped this ad from Sauza Tequila...right down to the spokesman.

  3. Also saw the Zesty Italian clip and found it quite appealing. It works because it is short and has something unexpected in its delivery. Sauza Tequila clip unfortunately does not even come close to the brilliant Kraft ad. Its too obvious and just makes me yawn.

  4. Interesting to hear the comparison. I have not seen Sauza spot yet, but will today. JIM

  5. To me, sex sell marketing is somewhat appropriate to apply in certain businesses such as Victoria's Secret and Calvin Klein to create consumers' want - sex attractiveness. However, i'm so surprised that some brands which seems unrelated to this kind of emotional side can apply this strategy to their marketing campaigns. For instance, Go Daddy, an internet domain registrar and web hosting company, positions itself as "fun, edgy, and a bit inappropriate". Go Daddy consistently creates the experience effect to its clients through its marketing elements such as GoDaddy Girls, company's own website, and commercials. The sexy girls seem perfectly fit with the brand essence by differentiating Go Daddy from other dull and boring companies in the same category.

    Arucha P.

  6. I'm not a proponent of random use of sex to sell - only if its tied to what your brand is all about and what your customer is looking for. Jim.