Steven Page finally has a million dollars, and yep, he’s still eating Kraft Dinner

(Nostalgic soundtrack for this story)

Who: Kraft Heinz Canada (KD) and Rethink, with Starcom for Media and The Colony Project for PR.

What: “You Do You,” a new campaign promoting the company’s iconic Kraft Dinner (now known as KD) starring former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page. The campaign also resurrects the brand’s “Gotta be KD” tagline, which it last used in 2012.

When & Where: The campaign broke Feb. 24 and runs through May 24. Campaign elements include TV (including billboards), online video and social. It also includes a season-long sponsorship on Big Brother Canada and a social contest across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offering prizes of specially made Dijon Ketchup (see below).

Why: It’s a brand campaign, built around Page’s famous shout-out to KD in the Barenaked Ladies’ 90s song “If I Had $1,000,000.” KD has long been regarded as a staple food for families, kids and university students because of its affordability and ease of preparation, prompting Page to sing that if he did actually have $1 million, he would no longer have to eat it—though he would, except now with “really expensive” ketchup (referred to in the song as “Dijon ketchup”).

Page would also call out Kraft during the Barenaked Ladies’ performance of the song during a reunion at the 2018 Junos, saying “C’mon, 30 years now Kraft. Isn’t it time for a sponsorship?” “After his shout-out at the Junos, KD decided to make it a reality,” says Nina Patel, Kraft Heinz Canada’s head of brand build and innovation.

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How: KD started teasing the campaign on Twitter over the weekend, and introduced a 15-second teaser starring Page, clad in a full-length fur coat (presumably not a real fur coat, ’cause that’s cruel) and gaudy jewellery, making KD in a gold pot and eating it on a luxurious sofa in front of a wall filled with gold discs. The message is clear: After a successful recording career that has included hit songs in both Canada and the U.S., Page now has the $1 million he sang about all those years ago—but he still likes to eat KD.

The spot is interspersed with shots of everyday Canadians making KD in a sauna, a coffee pot, and in a smoothie. “As an iconic national treasure, KD inspires Canadians to have some pretty strong opinions about the best way to make their favourite dish,” says Patel. “Whether it’s adding extra butter, hot dogs, ketchup, or au natural, as far as Kraft Dinner is concerned, your way of enjoying KD is the best way, no matter how questionable it is.”

Is Steven Page still big with the kids? “Kraft Dinner is a household favourite for families, young kids, older Canadians, and university students across the country. No matter the age, Canadians have a strong attachment and nostalgic view of KD,” says Patel. “While only some of the brand’s audience may relate to Steven Page specifically, we have no doubt that the rest will relate to the other characters featured too.” Page is also a fan of KD, says Patel: “[H]e did eat every single bowl of KD put in front of him,” she says.

And we quote: “The whole campaign is about how Canadians have this ownership of Kraft Dinner, and eat it their own way. [Page] was really enthusiastic about it from day one. He’s such a charismatic character, and as soon as he put the fur coat on the whole thing came to life.”—Mike Dubrick, partner creative director Rethink.

Chris Powell