Heinz hopes consumers warm up to cold ketchup

The brand sends up beer ads and creates a colour-changing label as part of a big summer push behind the product.

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Kraft Heinz is sending up popular beer ad conventions as it makes a case for Cold Ketchup, its recently launched LTO.

The creative has the hallmarks of 80 and 90s beer spots, with slo-mo zooms, melting ice, a glistening bottle and a booming voiceover. The ad and product are both somewhat tounge-in-cheek – Cold Ketchip is exactly the same as Heinz’s “regular” ketchup, except with a label that turns blue when it has been properly chilled.

The product is informed by Kraft insights that approximately half of respondents feel the only way to eat ketchup is cold.

“Thinking about how to launch, we looked to the experts in advertising cold products – beer,” says Jacqueline Chao, senior brand manager at Kraft Heinz. “Thematically, we drew inspiration from popular beer ads, parodying their iconic visual language and tone.”

Social content across Twitter, TikTok and Instagram is aiming to encourage Canadians to twist open a cold one. Heinz also teamed up with Canadian style TikTokers, Saif Shawaf and Anthony Tran to engage with Montrealers and Torontonians about their condiment temperature preferences.

“Across our portfolio, we’re always looking to insert our brands at the speed of culture by uncovering unique, ownable ways to engage fans,” Chao says.

Social media, Chao says, is the best platform for live temperature check on what people are talking about, for example, when Kraft recently asked which microwavable new KD flavours fans liked best through Twitch.

“Fans of Kraft Dinner are fervent and vocal about the new and original flavours, while Heinz ketchup fans are passionate about temperature,” Chao notes.

Heinz’s Mayochup is another example of how the brand leveraged social listening and tapped into existing consumer behaviour to drive relevant product innovation, Chao says. According to her, Mayochup, which arrived north of the border in 2019, continues to provide consumers with a unique flavour offering that brings incremental sales to the category.

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While the brand is leaning into social, there are also OOH elements at Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square, which were strategically placed it to go live over the May long weekend to leverage the increased foot traffic as weather continues to improve.

The Cold Ketchup launch includes a QSR partnership with Wendy’s – a key partner given its national presence – where it has in-store signage to remind diners that they now have the choice to dip their hot and crispy fries in Heinz Cold Ketchup or room temperature Heinz. Chao tells strategy the QSR tie-in was an integral part of the campaign strategy as it makes the product easily accessible across Canada.

Bottles of Heinz Cold Ketchup can be found at specially marked display fridges at select grocery stores and on social media where Heinz will be giving away a limited number of special-edition bottles of Heinz Cold Ketchup with its temperature-activated, icy blue label.

Rethink led creative and production, Carat will drive nationwide awareness, in-house agency The Kitchen is managing social and Middle Child is managing public relations and influencers.