Heinz celebrates milestone with personalized ketchup labels

PITTSBURGH, PA: Heinz Ketchup has been pushing its personalized label campaign to the national media via Pittsburgh-based Jack Horner Communications (JHC) resulting in a wealth of requests for the made-to-order labels of the condiment.

PITTSBURGH, PA: Heinz Ketchup has been pushing its personalized label campaign to the national media via Pittsburgh-based Jack Horner Communications (JHC) resulting in a wealth of requests for the made-to-order labels of the condiment.

The campaign, celebrating Heinz's 130th anniversary, began in mid-August when JHC took the Heinz "Talking Labels" campaign into the realm of individual personalization, using the new Web site, myheinz.com, to market and sell the brand extension. A single bottle costs $6.

JHC sent press kits to major media, which included a wooden wine box with a ketchup bottle inside and the tagline: "Next time, celebrate with a bottle of red." Since the induction of the campaign, Heinz has received more than 12,000 requests for the personal labels. The Web site has been receiving several thousand hits daily since its inception.

"Our press kits went in early August, but the big media wave hit late due to the foiled terrorist plot against air travel out of the UK," said Jack Horner, president of JHC, in an e-mail. "We had to recalibrate our timeframe, strategy, and pitching plans, as that global news cycle dominated national outlets during what was to be our ‘launch window.' It was a bit of a PR challenge to keep momentum going while liquids and hair gels consumed headlines."

No advertising is scheduled to correspond with the PR program. JHC has been working with Heinz for 14 years. Edelman also works on PR for the brand, but was not involved in this campaign, according to Horner.

"The launch, which will have seasonal pushes throughout the year, was built singularly around innovation, creativity, and media relations," said Horner.

Officials at Heinz, which has been locked in a fierce proxy battle with shareholder Nelson Peltz this summer, have signaled that the company's marketing strategy would continue to focus on core brands like its eponymous ketchup.

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