Heinz Ketchup

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1945

Coming out of the Depression-era days of the '30s when ketchup thrived as a flavoring for beans and bologna and less-than-choice cuts of meat, Heinz began as a convenient, gourmet sauce.

Market share

Not available

Ad spending

Total Heinz outlays: $1.8 million

Ad message

"Heinz takes the lead in giving snacks the zest they need."

Media use

Heinz was a big sponsor of radio shows, among them Ozzie and Harriet, and used print ads in farm and women's magazines and in Playbill.

1965

Heinz told consumers nothing tasted quite as fresh as Heinz Ketchup-made from "fresh sun-ripened tomatoes"-and began to refer to the brand in the 1960s as "Red Magic." The company also aimed to drive the brand upscale with a spokescharacter, Mr. Tomato Aristocrat.

Market share

23.6%

Ad spending

Total Heinz: $12 million

Ad message

Ads touted the brand's preeminence as the thickest and richest, with one featuring a napkin test to prove its thickness vs. the competition.

Media use

Heinz Ketchup began to focus its attention more on TV, continuing to do some print.

1985

Competitors Hunt's and Del Monte introduce improved thicker ketchups in response to Heinz, prompting it to further strengthen its positioning as the original thick-and-rich ketchup. Heinz also looked to differentiate with the first plastic ketchup bottles and a new Lite Ketchup.

Market share

Heinz hit a historic 50% market share in the category by 1986.

Ad spending

$12 million for the brand

Ad message

New ads say "Heinz Always Wins" in the thickness contest and use a "Plate Test" to prove it. "Rooftop" featuring Matt LeBlanc receives Cannes Lion.

Media use

Almost exclusively network TV, including pioneering use of 15-second spots, with a smattering of magazines. It ties in with several Nascar races.

2005

Heinz unveils a follow-up to its 2000 launch of Heinz EZ Squirt, kid-targeted Silly Squirts. It also continues to tout the health benefits of ketchup following research on the cancer- and heart-disease-fighting properties of lycopene and to push the convenience of Easy Squeeze upside-down bottles.

Market share

60%.

Ad spending

$123,000 in the first half-all radio

Ad message

"Heinz is America's Favorite Ketchup." Wall Street analysts joke that Heinz develops TV ads only for investor meetings and never airs them.

Media use

Heinz relies heavily on PR and a small bit of radio. It also takes the innovative step of using its ketchup labels as media in its "talking labels" strategy.

Source: H.J. Heinz Co., Ad Age archives, TNS Media Intelligence

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