Kraft understands that people are increasingly turning to the internet to research their purchases and build their grocery lists, so the company grew its digital marketing strategy to meet these shoppers online. With the help of Geometry Global, it built a series of Engagement Ads for its new Fresh Take brand. The Lightbox Ads delivered videos and featured recipes as well as bounce back savings at the grocery retail partner"s stores. The campaign achieved nearly 600,000 engagements over six weeks and a strong average engagement rate of 2.90%.


  • Build awareness, influence consideration of Fresh Take brand
  • Foster trial of Fresh Take products at grocery retail partner's stores
  • Drive sales, shorten the path to purchase for Kraft retail partner shoppers
  • Create loyalty with Kraft and retail partner's brands


  • Launched co-branded Engagement Ad campaign with leading grocery retail partner
  • Chose Lightbox Ad format to showcase brand videos, recipes, coupons and more
  • Used Affinity Segments to reach cooking enthusiasts, "30-minute chefs"


  • Created awareness at scale: 20M+ impressions
  • Connected with the right audience: 586,554 engagements, 2.90% average enagement rate
  • Deeply engaged consumers: average engagement time of 48 seconds
  • Cost-effective CPE pricing: $0.14 average CPE
January 2014

With food products ranging from cheese to condiments to beverages, Kraft Foods Group, Inc.’s iconic brands are found in many North American kitchens. To deliver its wide range of products to millions of households each year, Kraft partners with a leading grocery retailer. And to promote its brands at the retail partner’s locations, Kraft works with Geometry Global, the world’s largest activation agency. Rachel Drescher, associate account director at Geometry Global, develops digital strategic solutions to drive the purchase of Kraft products at the grocery retail partner’s stores.

As shoppers increasingly turn to the Internet to research day-to-day purchases and build their grocery lists, Kraft aims to connect with them online, when and where they’re looking and comparing. To effectively achieve this, Kraft and its grocery retail partner grew their digital marketing spend with significant 2013 marketing activity in the digital space. Rachel says the digital strategy for Kraft is rapidly evolving, evidenced by its recent implementation of Engagement Ads to promote the Fresh Take brand.

Creating awareness with Engagement Ads and Lightbox Ad format

Kraft needed to build awareness of its Fresh Take brand while educating shoppers and influencing their grocery lists. "We want shoppers to know about Fresh Take and consider it a recipe and meal solution even before they walk into the grocery store," explains Rachel.

To achieve these varied goals, Kraft and its grocery retail partner ran a co-branded Engagement Ad campaign. Engagement Ads are interactive formats that let advertisers create and scale brand messages across the web, paying only when a user engages with the ad. Kraft and its partner chose to use the Lightbox Ad format in particular, which begins as a standard, IAB-sized unit and expands into a full screen once a user hovers his or her cursor over the ad for two seconds. After hovering, users can engage with the Lightbox Ad’s videos and content without having to leave the current page.

Kraft’s goals for the Lightbox Ads were to build awareness through videos and featured recipes and create loyalty by offering bounce back savings at the grocery retail partner’s stores. The ads encouraged purchases of Fresh Take products by letting customers download digital coupons.

“Google’s Lightbox Ad was a great tool for delivering strong content and offers to our shoppers in a targeted and relevant way,” says Andrew Jameson, shopper marketing manager at Kraft. “The Lightbox format allowed engaged shoppers the opportunity to learn more about the Fresh Take product and how to use it. We added in some great recipes, a digital coupon and in-store savings to delight the shopper even more,” he explains.

To make the Lightbox Ad even more relevant and engaging, the content dynamically changed based on geographical location to display upcoming stops of the Fresh Take Food Truck at the grocery retail partner’s local stores. “As an added bonus for shoppers who had a Fresh Take Food Truck visit in their market we were able to provide a store-level address and date and time information so they could take part in all of the fun that the Fresh Take Food Truck visits had to offer,” adds Andrew.

Rachel says the Lightbox Ad was a great solution because it allowed Kraft and its partner to achieve their awareness, trial and loyalty goals simultaneously. “The Lightbox Ad acted as a microsite for Kraft’s joint messaging with its grocery retail partner,” she says, explaining that engaging videos, recipes, packaging information, coupons and upcoming food truck stops could all be showcased within the expanded Lightbox Ad. “It was a great vehicle to leverage all our assets in once place,” she says. “Moving consumers from awareness to purchase happens quickly when everything is in one unit.”

Reaching “30-minute chefs” with Affinity Segment

Kraft and its partner needed to show their Lightbox Ads to Fresh Take’s target audience: busy, on-the-go, hero-of-the-family moms looking for easy, cost-effective ways to feed their families. To build awareness of Fresh Take with these moms, Kraft used Affinity Segments, an audience-based targeting tool designed to give advertisers massive reach of users who have demonstrated a sustained interest in a given topic. Affinity Segments offers more than 80 unique personas spanning a rich array of lifestyle interests, passions, wants and needs. Kraft used Affinity Segments to target its ads to people such as “technophiles,” “weekend warriors,” “working moms” and cooking enthusiasts—in particular, “30-minute chefs” looking for quick meal solutions—who would likely be attracted to Fresh Take products.

In addition to using Affinity Segments to reach a broad yet precise, qualified audience, the campaign also used location targeting and keyword contextual targeting to show ads on relevant sites across Google Display. Location targeting enabled a tailored, dynamic experience of the Lightbox Ad by automatically displaying local Fresh Take Food Truck schedules when relevant. And to further increase awareness for both Kraft and its grocery retail partner, the Lightbox Ads were also placed on select cooking-related sites, such as, using managed placements.

Lightbox Ads generate impressive engagement metrics

Together, Lightbox Ads and Affinity Segments helped Kraft build awareness of Fresh Take with consumers while they made purchase decisions, shortening the path to purchase and ultimately improving sales. The campaign was largely successful, achieving nearly 600,000 engagements over six weeks and a strong average engagement rate of 2.90% (20 times higher than the average clickthrough rate of 0.14% for DoubleClick display ads).1 The average expansion time for the Lightbox Ads was 48 seconds (four times higher than the average interaction time of 11.55 seconds for DoubleClick-rich media ads)2 and the total expansion time for the entire campaign was 7,824 hours—that’s nearly 11 months of time spent interacting with the Lightbox Ads! “Our first foray into Lightbox Ads was a major success and over-delivered on what we were trying to achieve with the customers, shoppers and brand,” says Andrew.

Kraft’s Lightbox Ads received more than 20 million impressions, which came at no additional cost because all Engagement Ads are priced on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) basis, meaning Kraft and its partner paid only when users hovered their cursors to activate the Lightbox Ad. And the campaign’s average CPE turned out to be an exceptional value: At just $0.14 for each qualified user initiating a brand interaction, Rachel says Engagement Ads were “amazing, from an efficiency standpoint” for Kraft and its grocery retail partner. “The CPE pricing model created very little risk for the client,” she adds. Because these engagement-focused campaigns generate value for brands such as Kraft and its grocery retail partner, Kraft is already planning to use Lightbox Ads for another upcoming campaign. In the future, this ad format will continue to play an integral role in Kraft’s awareness initiatives: “We would definitely run Lightbox Ads again with the right opportunity,” says Rachel.