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Last Thursday, Kraft Heinz announced that instead of buying another pricy Superbowl ad, they would instead turn the event into a holiday for their entire salaried US workforce. They’re also launching a petition to make the day after the Superbowl a national holiday and they’ll be sending it to Congress if they can muster enough signatures from loyal Kraft Heinz customers and people who like to sleep in.
Why did Kraft Heinz cede their coveted Superbowl spot? According to Advertising Age, 80% of Superbowl ad buys have little to no effect on product sales. They can increase brand awareness, especially if your spot manages to generate some buzz, but for the giants who can afford those steep Superbowl rates, how much is simply being part of the post-Superbowl conversation really worth? With Superbowl ads becoming increasingly divorced from the product, and more like short films meant to convey brand spirit, why not cede that crowded field and try something different?
Kraft Heinz’s move is both a nice gesture for employees and one that has real value. It’s not like offering free massages during crunch time when your employees will be too stressed to take take advantage of the offer. Or like offering unlimited vacation, knowing that your employees, worried about looking like a slacker, will take less time than ever before. A paid day off is a simple gesture with no clear strings attached and offering it to the entire salaried US workforce means that no employee need feel singled out or pressured to decline it. It’s the kind of simple perk or benefit that employees value in the long term, and it’s one that has netted Kraft Heinz a lot of free advertising, and probably would have, even had they not launched their Smunday petition campaign.
The only thing that would look even better, from an employer branding perspective, would be to extend Smunday to their non-salaried employees as well. It’s the kind of feel-good work perk story that generates its own buzz . And while more people taking the day off would have cost Kraft Heinz a bit more, they could save on those Smunday campaign dollars while giving even more back to their workforce.
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Bottom line: good work perks don’t just increase employee satisfaction or catch the eye of talented candidates, they also make people feel better about your brand.