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How Heinz used creativity to reassert its OG status

Heinz gebruikt de gelimiteerde AI-database voor een nieuwe reclamecampagne. Kan AI wel iets nieuws te genereren? (Creative Review)

When Heinz felt its brand status slipping, it leaned into original, creative marketing to remind its customers just how much they love its products.

With new artificial intelligence text-to-image programs taking over the internet, we wanted to find out what A.I. thinks“ketchup” looks like. So we used A.I. to generate images of ketchup on Dall-E 2. The result? Just like humans, A.I. prefers Heinz.

“People all over the world have an irrational love of Heinz products. They carry ketchup packets at all times. They will walk into and out of restaurants that don’t have Heinz. They will break into their neighbours’ homes to steal bottles. Ringo Starr once packed a whole suitcase full of Heinz Beanz to take with him on a trip to India. The ­stories are endless.”

All brands strive to build committed com­munities of customers, though few can claim to have quite the loyalty described by Wieden+Kennedy New York’s creative ­director, Will Binder, above. It was against this backdrop that the agency ­created It Has To Be Heinz, the brand’s first global campaign in its 150-year history. The TV spot homed in on the occasionally ludicrous examples of love for the Heinz brand demonstrated by fans, in particular for its ketchup. “To create a global platform celebrating irrational love, we sought out these true Heinz obsession stories,” Binder explains, with the ad featuring examples of people getting Heinz tattoos and putting ketchup on sushi and ice cream.

The messaging of the global campaign might seem confident, but as recently as five years ago, Heinz found it was struggling, even with its most famous product – ketchup. It was at this point that it briefed ­Canadian agency Rethink to help “reignite love for Heinz ketchup”, and in doing so set off a chain of fun, entertaining and very ­effective creative ads.

Pour Perfectly campaign, 2019, where the bottle label was repositioned in order to identify the perfect pouring angle. Campaign by Rethink ad agency.


Creative Review, Eliza Williams / Heinz

6 september 2023

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