Heinz's Super Bowl commercial features four story lines at once to encourage rewatching

Ketchup is the star of all four scenes but other products and details are hidden in plain sight

Published On
Jan 29, 2020

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Heinz is airing four somewhat eerie stories simultaneously in its Super Bowl ad, yet all share the same basic message, that Heinz is always there. 

The ads run in a grid, with staggered beginnings. The story in the top left corner begins first, featuring a creepy clown in a creepy diner. Then top right, a teen meets his girlfriend's evil-seeming parents. The third story centers around a family during a moving day that appears haunted. And in the bottom right quadrant the viewer is treated to an alien repast.

Then the iconic Heinz ketchup bottle from each scene converges in the center, as “I’ll Be There” plays, in a way that seems to assure the spooked-out characters—and perhaps the audience at home.

“You’re not going to be able to take it all in the first time,” says Dalia Adler, brand build lead at Heinz. While the ad focuses on ketchup, other Heinz products and details make cameos throughout the spot “that will definitely require re-watching to spot.”

The 30-second commercial attempts to bring each of the stories together and show “that Heinz can add goodness to any situation,” Adler says.

The ideas, while amplified for the Super Bowl spot, draw on real-life situations, such as walking into an unfamiliar restaurant and being pleased to see the familiar Heinz bottle. 

The spot is Wieden & Kennedy New York’s first work for Heinz and was directed by Roman Coppola. Heinz unveiled the split-screen format last week in a teaser

“We tried to be creative and also strict about the form, to make the ad best suited for people to see four things at once,” Coppola said in a statement.

The spot kicks off the brand’s “Find the Goodness” campaign.

If the idea of watching four ads at once is overwhelming, don’t fret. Each story will be shown separately as the campaign continues.

Heinz's most recent Super Bowl spot was 2016's "Wiener Stampede" by David Miami.