Not so cheesy: House Wine & Cheez-It box sells out in one hour

The cheese and wine brands partnered to create the perfect summer pairing.

Campaign: House Wine & Cheese-It Box
Company: Kellogg
Agency partner: Edelman (PR)
Duration: July 25 

For National Wine and Cheese Day, consumers could purchase a dual-sided box with the perfect summer pairing: Cheez-It crackers and red wine. The limited-edition boxes sold out in under an hour.

Cheez-It parent company Kellogg wanted to highlight that the crackers are made with real cheese. The brand approached Edelman early last year to brainstorm how to convey this in a campaign.

"We started thinking about association words," said Aaron Noffsinger, a group creative director at Edelman.

From the beginning, wine was a leading contender. After some research on social media - which confirmed that people frequently discuss wine and cheese together and, even more tellingly, a small contingent of social media users were already pairing wine with Cheez-Its - Kellogg settled on a wine-Cheez-It mash-up. 

The campaign was slated for summer 2019. The product - a combination of affordable boxed wine and affordable Cheez-Its - made sense for the season: a time for vacations, picnics, and unfussy, outdoor eating. 

The first step was selecting wine brand House Wine to supply the red wine component of the product. Next up, Kellogg had to nail down distribution details to ensure that the dual-sided box met all the legal shipping requirements, which were fairly strict, given they contained alcohol. 

Because Kellogg assumed the boxes would sell out quickly, it developed an additional element that would allow fans to participate at home. Together with House Wine, Kellogg curated custom wine pairings for various Cheez-It flavors, including white cheddar, hot and spicy and cheddar Jack.

"That’s how we could continue the conversation after the original product launch," Noffsinger said. 

The campaign was unveiled on July 23 and the product itself went on sale two days later.

Before the reveal, Kellogg sent an embargoed pitch to media outlets and select publications were sent the product to sample. After the campaign launched, a number of influencers and Cheez-It fans were also sent boxes. 

The $25 limited-edition boxes sold out within an hour. Edelman declined to provide the number sold.

The campaign site received 72,000 unique visitors between July 23 and July 25.

The campaign itself generated approximately 450 media placements, which spanned online, print and broadcast. The campaign was covered by CNN Business, NPR, Food & Wine, CNBC, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and the Today show.

Across its own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts, Cheez-It and House Wine received a collective 10,000 likes/reactions, 5,700 comments, 3,000 comments and 1,000 shares. 

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