Heinz Ketchup creates a jigsaw puzzle for isolation

Linking the methodical single-colour puzzle to the slow pour of its glass bottle offers a way to maintain brand-building plans.


The Washington Post recently opined on why solving jigsaw puzzles seem to gained popularity during the pandemic, saying they provide a chance to think about something other than an overwhelmingly negative news cycle. Kraft Heinz is capitalizing on the trend, offering its fans a break by releasing a puzzle of its own – linking the deliberate, methodical pastime to its slow-pouring ketchup.

Heinz is giving away 57 jigsaw puzzles to 57 Canadians to consumers who comment with who they wish they could finish the puzzle with on social media posts announcing the puzzle’s release.

The game comes in 570 pieces – made more challenging by the fact that they are all in an identical shade of red. The “57” theme builds on the number that’s been part of Heinz’s brand equity since 1869, and is a nod to its legacy, according to Brian Neumann, senior brand manager with Kraft Heinz.

Like most brands that were grappling with how to remain in the minds of consumers without appearing insensitive to a rapidly changing situation, Neumann says Kraft Heinz put all brand-sell campaigns on hold when COVID-19 hit as it re-evaluated “how to connect with Canadians in a meaningful way.” The brand initially had an integrated campaign with experiential extensions set to launch ahead of the May long weekend – typically seen by many food and condiment brands as the start of “grilling season” – but shifted given social distancing protocols.


“We recognized that social distancing and self-isolation had people around the globe looking for new ways to pass time,” he says. “The puzzle is one trend that re-emerged as a pastime in the news and our social feeds.”

It gives people a break from the negative news cycle and stress that comes with the pandemic, and Neumann says he believes consumers are more than happy to welcome brands who can help them find a little moment of fun in their day, an appropriate place for them to occupy.

According to Neumann, the brand wanted to continue to reignite fans’ love for the “slow pour” associated with its glass bottles, which is inextricably linked to their love of fries. Mostly recently, the brand has played off this in its “true love” farm-to-table creative spoof, paying tribute to Corona’s lime by lodging a fry into a bottle and reworking the label to show consumers how the bottle should be poured.

Neumann reports that the CPG has experienced an increase in demand over the last two months, which he attributes to Canadians looking to trusted brands to fill their pantries and feed their families. He adds that Kraft Heinz is focusing on critical SKUs that are in high demand such as Heinz Ketchup, Kraft Peanut Butter and Classico Pasta Sauce, echoing statements the global parent company made about how it is treating its marketing investment.

The brand’s AORs managed the campaign, with Rethink on creative and production, Starcom on media and The Colony Project managing public relations.