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The pudding that saved mankind

The end of the world is scheduled to occur on December 21—so says the Mayan calendar. But, never fear, JELL-O is here. In an attempt to save the planet, JELL-O abandoned traditional sacrifices and offered the Mayan gods JELL-O Pudding in its recent campaign.

“Our goal is to refocus on the fact that JELL-O is food for fun and [to] engage with spontaneous, fun-seeking Americans during the potential impending apocalypse,” says Greg Gallagher, senior brand manager of JELL-O, Kraft Foods Group, Inc., his tongue firmly in cheek.

JELL-O partnered with integrated ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) to launch its “Fun to the Rescue” TV commercial which first aired December 17. The jiggly brand also sponsored apocalypse-inspired cable TV shows in the week leading up to the impending end.

JELL-O also worked with media agency Starcom and Hunter Public Relations.

“We know our consumer is a heavy user of print and digital, so the backbone of our plan will be a strong focus in those media,” Gallagher says. This focus will continue into 2013.

The Kraft brand didn’t sacrifice social with this campaign. JELL-O invited those counting down the days to tweet what they’d like to achieve before doomsday along with the hashtag #funpocalypse for the chance to win $100 to help fulfill their goal. Twelve daily winners will be selected from December 17 to December 20 (or the end of the world—whichever comes first). To ensure earthlings bid their loved ones a proper but humorous Mayan goodbye, JELL-O also teamed up with e-card company Someecards.

“What better way to express that than where consumers are having fun and interacting with friends and family—on social media platforms,” Gallagher says. “JELL-O will utilize Facebook and Twitter to help comfort and reassure those who may fear that the end is near.”

Yet when it comes to awaiting the world’s end, most JELL-O patrons aren’t holding their breath. In fact, 96% believe they’ll live to see December 22, according to a JELL-O survey conducted by Wakefield Research sampling 1,000 U.S. adults. In the case the prediction proves true, 52% of respondents said they’re looking forward to not having to pay taxes again along with 24% who are thrilled about not having to count calories.

Gallagher says JELL-O is targeting families and claims that the focus on fun and family makes this initiative different from previous campaigns.

“After about a decade of focusing on adult consumers with a dieting message, the JELL-O brand is now switching gears and focusing on the fact that JELL-O is ‘food for fun,’” he says.

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