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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Retirement Bears

Finalist in On a Shoestring


Over the last 60 years, the Kraft Peanut Butter bears became Canadian icons. 

But lately, other brand mascots were stealing all the headlines, thanks to their fresh redesigns and viral stunts -- meaning our bears weren’t feeling the love.

We needed a way to remind Canadians of their strong emotional connection to the bears, and secure their place on kitchen tables across Canada.

Strategy and Execution

To remind Canadians how much they love the Kraft Bears, we launched a social stunt, with a single post: 

“The Kraft Peanut Butter Bears are retiring.” 

We then released supporting content, including our “new branding” and bear-free jars, to tell the story of how the Kraft Peanut Butter Bears were going away. By the time we revealed it was all a stunt, one thing was clear: Canada couldn’t live without the bears.


Canada reacted as expected. Fully-grown adults cried on TikTok, the internet called on our marketing team to be fired, and passionate fans even started their own #SaveTheKraftBears hashtag. The outcry and love for the bears was so loud, that one of our own Kraft factories even threatened to go on strike, unless we reversed our decision. 

For a low-budget stunt (a few simple social posts) the results were unparalleled. The campaign achieved 3.3M impressions, 930k organic TikTok views, and our social accounts gained 22,000 new followers, all in only three days. 

Our campaign led to 301k engagements (45x our average), and paragraph after paragraph of fans sharing deep and detailed stories of their personal connections to the bears.


Video for Retirement Bears

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Kitchen, The Kraft Heinz Company (Kraft Peanut Butter)


Entry Credits