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Heinz on its mission to move ‘at the speed of culture’ to create an ad in five days

Heinz’s ‘The Last Drop’ ad. Source: Heinz

Heinz says it has moved “at the speed of culture” to create its latest ad in just five days, in a bid to capture the energy and dynamism of social media.

‘The Last Drop’ was inspired by a video, shared on social media, of a mother licking spilt ketchup off her baby to avoid wasting it.

The campaign, which launches today, shows a range of consumers licking Heinz products off sleeves, shirts, keyboards and other surfaces to get to the last drop. The message that ‘It has to be Heinz’ is reinforced to explain the behaviour.

The image chimes with the brand’s ‘It has to be Heinz’ global brand platform, which was born from the consumer insight that fans will go to extreme lengths for their favourite Heinz products.

It was also conceived as a creative springboard to allow the Heinz marketing team to create more localised campaigns under a global umbrella. Thiago Rapp, Heinz’s director of taste elevation and masterbrand, tells Marketing Week the platform is allowing teams to be more creative, and to move at pace to develop ideas, leading to executions like The Last Drop.

Heinz launches first-ever global brand platform

“We got this insight that sometimes a drop falls onto your arm or some place, and you are so keen to get the taste that you go and lick the ketchup automatically. Sometimes you find people looking at you, shocked at what you did,” says Thiago on the thought process behind the ad.

In bringing the ad to market the brand was seeking to live up to its challenge to itself to “move at the speed of modern culture”, says Rapp. “The moment we have a great idea, and we have the opportunity to put this into action, we are almost testing ourselves on how fast we can react.”

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Heinz’s ‘The Last Drop’ campaign. Source: Heinz

Quickfire ads that fit within the Heinz master plan are likely to become more common, as Rapp says that looking for deeper consumer insights within a new framework has led to a burst of creativity.

“This is just the start. The moment we put out our challenge to become the most irresistible food brand in the world, we really changed the frame of reference. We want to be seen as one of the Apples, Nikes, Legos of the world. The moment we put this platform in place it is incredible how the ideas started to pop up,” he adds.

He says the marketing team has done a lot of learning and testing since introducing It has to be Heinz.

“It has been super useful to see how we can pick up things faster and how we can find more opportunities to play with our ideas,” he says. “The biggest change has been in our mindset. We have campaigns that are more structured and have more time for planning, the core ones, but we always try to leave some windows of opportunity so we can react fast.”

This is considered key for a brand that is seeking to keep its finger on the pulse of consumer sentiment by being able to react, for example, to online trends.

“We have been learning how to be more reactive, and to do it in a very authentic way,” says Rapp. “The moment we find an opportunity that is consistent with the brand, and we are finding a true consumer insight, we can react fast and we can be authentic in the way the brand is showing up to consumers.”

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Heinz’s ‘The Last Drop’ campaign. Source: Heinz

The Last Drop will feature on social and OOH channels. Although developed for the UK market, it may be seen further afield too.

“Now we have a global platform, we are already in touch with other teams in Europe, with teams in North America, so there is an opportunity to scale this. Most probably we will see this campaign, after a couple of days or weeks, starting to pop up in other markets,” says Rapp.

The campaign was produced in Brazil, using an in-house ‘keychain’ approach that uses global resources. The choice of a Brazilian agency was partly about cost and partly because of its ability to react quickly.

“Great ideas have no borders. If we are getting a nice idea from an agency in Brazil or from an agency in Australia, even if that market doesn’t have the right opportunity at the moment we can pitch to other markets,” says Rapp.

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