Why A Giant Velveeta Box Appeared In Central Park

If you live in or near New York City, you're likely already familiar with one of the biggest news items of the past week: the installation of a 410-pound solid gold cube in Central Park. According to artnet, the sculpture, created by German artist Niclas Castello, was displayed for one day only — monitored by a security team — as a (very pricey) publicity stunt to advertise the launch of the artist's new cryptocurrency, Castello Coin.

While the cube is gone, its legacy lives on, and New Yorkers have continued to react to the here-today, gone-tomorrow artistic statement. "The cube" has drawn its fair share of ridicule, such as a sardonic tweet that read, "Ugh, I'm so hungover... I remember going to Central Park last night and that's it... *patting my pockets* Wait a minute, where's my gold cube worth $11.7 million?"

Even the food world got in on the fun, with the packaged foods giant Kraft placing its very own — albeit far less valuable — box in Central Park Friday, February 4. But the pr stunt was based on more than the box.

An eight-foot Velveeta box to mock the gold one

Last Friday, a couple of days after German artist Niclas Castello's headline-generating solid gold cube was retired from its Central Park spot, the packaged food giant Kraft spoofed the publicity stunt with one of its own: the installation, in the same park, of a huge, eight-foot box of its recognizable cheese product Velveeta.

Announcing the drop with a tongue-in-cheek tweet, Velveeta wrote, "LIQUID GOLD CUBE > SOLID GOLD CUBE. SERIOUSLY IT'S IN CENTRAL PARK GO CHECK IT OUT." Through the brand's responses to a considerable number of comments, it revealed additional information: that this box, too, had a security guard, and that it would be taken down a day later, at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

According to AdAge, the spoof was a "golden" opportunity for Velveeta, whose tagline is "Liquid Gold," and who revamped its logo and concept in 2021 with the aim of marketing the traditionally lowbrow cheese product to a more discerning consumer. Judging by the stunt's reception on Twitter, it appears that people ate it up, so to speak: "The original art pales in comparison!" responded journalist Keri Lumm. Across a few responses, Velveeta in turn compared its creation to a Frida Kahlo quote, the sunset, a rainbow, and Michelangelo's David.