Philadelphia Angels Eat Cream Cheese

Philadelphia cream cheese brings “a little taste of heaven”. That’s the television advertising campaign slogan used around the world. Philadelphia cream cheese was first distributed in New York in 1880, eight years after a Chester NY dairyman had developed the cheese made of cream as well as whole milk. The name “Philadelphia” was applied to provide a link to the quality products that came from that city. It’s now sold by Kraft in approximately ninety countries.

JWT (J Walter Thompson), the advertising agency associated with Kraft since 1922, commissioned local production companies and directors to develop context-related television commercial.

In 1994 JWT launched a campaign in Canada featuring angels who humorously find ways to make ‘Philly’ part of their angelic lives. “When it’s Philadelphia, it’s Heaven”. There were five spots between 1994 and 1997: Heaven, Crumbs, Empty, Midnight and Cloud. Mike Collins of JWT tells the story in his 1997 paper to the Kraft’s Food Fun page that features streamed TV ads from Canada, UK and Brazil.

The German campaign is featured at a micro site, with a 2 mb mpeg video showing a male angel and female angel discovering the beauties of teamwork in the high-tech heavenly kitchen.

In the United Kingdom the 1999 ads featured Caroline Quentin from the UK television sitcom, Men Behaving Badly. In 2002 two sassy and street-wise angels, Danni and Bev, were introduced. This year a new campaign has a new host of angels with new ‘heavenly recipes’. Kraft UK gives an overview of Philadelphia television advertising on their site but doesn’t include actual video clips.

Method Studios provided the visual effects for the 2002 USA spot, “Missing Angel” and kindly include a quicktime copy of the video clip on their site. Two African American angels sing, “Heaven, must be missing Angel”. “Where the heaven is that girl?”, asks one. Of course she’s filling her face with a bagel with cream cheese.


The Missing Angel ad was directed by Liz Friedlander of DNA Los Angeles, with director of photography Welles Hackett. Editing was done at Avenue Edit and Telecine at Company 3.

Check out the LoveMyPhilly YouTube channel for more up to date ads…