Heinz turns consumer drawings into new bottle designs

A new campaign enforces the strength of the condiment brand by showing that when most people think of ketchup, they think of Heinz.


Heinz is illustrating – literally – the power of strong brand awareness and word association in its latest campaign.

“Draw Ketchup” began with a social experiment: Heinz anonymously asked dozens of people aged 8 to 80 across five continents to sketch the condiment. The majority of participants drew images that reflected the brand, from its distinct bottle shape to keyhole label. Some wrote the brand’s name on the bottle they drew, unprompted.

While other brands might need to promote their product, for Heinz, showing how strong the association is between ketchup and their brand is the message – Heinz is ketchup.

Daniel Gotlib, associate director of brand building and innovation at Kraft Heinz Canada, says demonstrating that “instinctual association” will help ensure that brand stays top of mind, through established feelings of nostalgia and connection.

Along with a video spot that showcases some of the best – and worst – of the drawings people came up with, the campaign also includes a drawing contest; until Jan. 31, Heinz is challenging Canadians to draw their own version of ketchup and it will select 250 winners to receive a custom bottle of the condiment with their own label printed on it.

image2In addition, some of the drawings will be used on billboards advertising the contest and – of course – Heinz ketchup, itself.

According to Gotlib, the interactive element is important to the overall execution of the campaign because it “allows consumers to feel even more connected to our brand, drives deeper and more meaningful engagement, and in turn builds stronger consumer loyalty.” For an established brand with such a strong association to the product like Heinz, the goal and challenge is to enforce that loyalty so consumers buy based on their connection to the brand, instead of the lower prices offered by competitors or private labels.

In May, the brand capitalized on the rising popularity of jigsaw puzzles amid COVID-19 lockdowns by releasing 57 copies of a 570-piece puzzle – all of which were in Heinz ketchup red – to participants in a social media promotion. It has also taken the whimsical approach with a limited edition release that repositioned the labels on the bottle so they would be upright when it was held at the perfect angle to pour the condiment.

“For many brands today, simply focusing on traditional forms of advertising isn’t enough. Consumers are looking to brands to have an authentic, real-world connection outside of traditional content,” he explains. “We are always looking for new ways to engage and give them added value and connection to our brand.”

The campaign will run on social and digital with some OOH. It was developed by Rethink. Carat is handling media, while the Colony Project is handling PR.