Philadelphia Cream Cheese unveils new Philly Angel

Philadelphia Cream Cheese has formally introduced its new Philly Angel following a national casting call that launched earlier this year.

The new Angel is Humberley Gonzalez, a Toronto actress whose TV credits include Utopia Falls, Orphan Black and CBC’s Workin’ Moms. According to Philly, Gonzalez exhibited three key criteria that led to her selection for the role: wit, charm and relatability.

Philly received more than 330 submissions as part of the #PhillyCastingCall campaign, which launched just prior to the pandemic. The new Angel was originally supposed to be announced in March, with the first creative debuting in May.

Instead, Philly released its first creative featuring Gonzalez today, a social video from AOR partner Rethink (see it below) showing Linda Kash—the Canadian actress who played the Philly Angel between 1994 and 2010—reminiscing about her role before handing over her wings to Gonzalez.

“Canadians have a strong emotional connection to Linda Kash as the iconic ’90s Philly Angel, but a new decade calls for a new angel and the chance for Philly to modernize and be reflective of Canada today” said Nina Patel, head of marketing and innovation at Kraft Heinz Canada.

“Throughout the search, It was humbling to see so many talented Canadians audition, each bringing their own unique perspective to the role,” added Patel. “We were inspired by what we saw and we look forward to welcoming many Philly Angels in the years to come.”

Launching the program in February, Philly said that it was looking for a new Angel reflective of Canada’s diverse cultural makeup. A company representative told The Message at the time that the goal was to “future-proof” the brand and strengthen consumer attachment.

The Philly Angel is one of Kraft Heinz Canada’s best-known marketing assets, recognized by more than 55% of Canadians according to internal research. Media for the campaign is handled by Starcom, with The Colony Project for public relations and influencer marketing.

Chris Powell