< 1 Min Read
Heinz and Bootleg Ketchup
Do you really know what’s in that ketchup bottle?
After a Snapchat video of an employee refilling a Heinz ketchup bottle with a generic brand went viral, Heinz saw an opportunity to spread the word.
The “Ketchup Fraud” campaign showed restaurant employees filling Heinz ketchup bottles with competitor ketchup brands. The photos’ captions incorporated the brand’s preexisting slogan into the campaign.
“Even when it isn’t Heinz, it has to be Heinz.”
The campaign was advertised across print ads and billboards in New York and Chicago. However, Heinz’s biggest push was on social media.
Here’s how Megan Lang, Heinz North American Marketing Director, put it:
“We thought, what better way to express our core brand belief that ‘It Has to Be Heinz’ than to simply amplify an existing consumer behavior in a supportive and funny way?”
Catching Ketchup Cheats
As a part of the campaign, Heinz invited consumers to tag restaurants that they suspect of committing ketchup fraud in the campaign’s first Instagram post. After a few more social media posts promoting campaign engagement, Heinz capped off their efforts by officially sending Heinz ketchup bottles to restaurants partaking in ketchup fraud.
It’s not the first time Heinz incorporated a condiment controversy into its marketing efforts.
Heinz’s campaign highlights the power of social media in connecting brands to their consumers. The unique nature of social media channels enables brands to reach a wide audience with more nuanced or lighthearted messaging.
If Heinz had only utilized traditional earned and paid media, this campaign and its playful tone would have been a lot harder (and more expensive) to pull off.
The potential reach of social media is limitless and inexpensive, which is what makes it really enticing for campaigns like this one.