News | October 25, 1999

New Heinz Ketchup Labels Display Attitude

New Heinz Ketchup Labels Display Attitude To send the message that its ketchup is hip, H.J. Heinz Co. (Pittsburgh) is giving its bottles a new look, replacing traditional labels with ones that include clever phrases. The new labels have "attitude" and are particularly geared towards teen-agers.

The "talking labels" promotion is part of a $50 million global advertising campaign, which started early this year and is aimed at giving ketchup sales a boost, especially among youth. The new labels, which began hitting store shelves last week, include messages like "More fun to squeeze than toothpaste," and "Are your french fries lonely?"

Joseph Jimenez, who oversees Heinz sales in the United States and Canada, explains the company's strategy: "Teens are our key audience because, although households with kids are the heaviest users of ketchup, there is still plenty of growth potential."

The new labels will appear for a limited time on 24-oz and 36-oz plastic squeeze bottles, spicing up the traditional keystone label on about half the bottles stocked by U.S. retailers. Other fun messages, like "More value per squirt" and "Put some on something weird, like a shoe or a cousin " will appear on store displays, book covers and on postcards that Heinz will pass out to kids. The campaign also is being backed by print, radio and television ads, and ads at popular teen Internet sites.

The promotion is part of the "Ketchup With Attitude" campaign created by Chicago agency Leo Burnett Co. It kicked off this spring with a series of national TV commercials that use attitude and humor to try to remake the stodgy Heinz brand image and connect with the younger generation.

Heinz is the world's No. 1 ketchup brand, with more than $1 billion in sales annually. Still, sales fell off after Heinz backed away from most of its consumer advertising about five years ago.

Edited by Bill Noone