Commercial Renewal Project: Heinz Ketchup (2019): “To me, Heinz makes everything perfect”

Heinz Ketchup released a new commercial in June 2019, staring British sing-a-song writer star Edward Sheeran. Heinz Ketchup explains on their YouTube clip that he came up to them with his personal experience based on his infamous love for ketchup, so the company decided to make an ad based on his story. The ad starts by showing Ed Sheeran being the main protagonist in the clip and the narrator, explaining that he had an idea for an Heinz Ketchup commercial based on his experience when he visited a ‘super posh restaurant’, where there were fancy forks, tables and classic music playing on. The waiter serves him ‘posh vegetables’ with ‘fancy sauce’. When he is served his food, he monologues that everything seems fine, but states that he feels something is missing. He then reaches towards his bag and pulls out the thing that will complete his meal, ketchup. After that moment, everybody in the restaurant starts putting on a shocked face due to his decision. And then, every time Sheeran knocks his ketchup bottle, the screen captures all kinds of shocked and disgusted reactions from the waiter and guests at the restaurant. The ad ends as Ed Sheeran satisfactorily starts cutting his meal, which is now sprayed with ketchup.

  • Our thoughts and what we wanted to change

After watching this ad, our team did not like the way how ketchup was portrayed. Sure, nobody thinks of ketchup as a ‘posh’ adding, but we did not think it was wise to portray ketchup as a dressing that is rejected from the rich. Also, most of our team did not know who Ed Sheeran was, or about his infamous love for ketchup. And the most decisive reason to why we wanted to change this ad was for ketchup to be portrayed as a sauce that was enjoyed by only a particular social class.

  • How we portrayed our commercial

We wanted to show that ketchup can be enjoyed in all kinds of different food. There were many suggestions in how to portray that, like an interview with various people or showing popping food shaped paper every time ketchup was added. Our main mission was to show the audience a clear message that ketchup can go with all kinds of food, in a fun, attractive and effective way. During one of our conferences, somebody got up with an idea based on the movie “Love Actually”, where there is a scene in which a man confesses his feelings to a woman by using a sketchbook. So, we decided to imitate the scene and give our message through sketchbooks. Our ad would be about all different types of foods confessing their love toward ketchup. We chose rich steak, healthy salad, obvious French fries and befitting hotdog as foods that will well represent various backgrounds to prove ketchup is enjoyed by everybody.

In the beginning of our ad, Heinz ketchup receives a visit from 4 types of foods. They all show through their sketchbooks that they believe ketchup completes them and try to cheer Heinz up. But Heinz hesitates and was not sure what to do and turns the visitors down. However, after a moment of thought, Heinz opens the door again, rushes toward the foods, and finally they are happily reunited. Through this commercial, we wanted to show that ketchup can be enjoyed on all kinds of food regardless of social class.

Written by Sunkyung Kim, Woosong Sun, Doeun Kim, Dahae Park, and Hongkuk Lee | Marketing Communication 2019 Fall | College of Business Administration, Kookmin University

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