Heinz gives ketchup and Whoppers to people stuck in traffic

Partnership with Burger King and Waze rewards people trapped in gridlock as slow as its ketchup

Published On
Jun 03, 2021

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As summer approaches, the pandemic eases and people embark on roadtrips, one thing is certain: the return of gridlock. But Heinz Ketchup and agency Rethink are trying to turn all the aggravation of painfully slow travel into joy for consumers.

In a partnership with Waze and Burger King, the brand has debuted “Heinz Bottleneck,” an in-app feature that will reward users in Canada whenever traffic goes as slow as its ketchup. Once drivers using Waze hit .045 kilometers an hour, in the app their cars will transform into a red Heinz Ketchup bottle, unlocking a reward that will give them not just free ketchup but also an Impossible Whopper at Burger King. The campaign will run from June 3 through July 4.

“Surprisingly, many people don’t know that Heinz pours out of our glass bottle at 0.045 kilometers per hour,” said Daniel Gotlib, associate director, brand building and innovation, Kraft Heinz Canada, in a statement. “And with more Canadians potentially on the road this summer whether within their own cities or for weekend getaways, traffic is going to a pain point we all may need to get used to again. We want to help our fans see that going slow isn’t always a bad thing and reward them with the delicious, iconically slow-pouring Heinz Ketchup for those terrible traffic jams.” 

Heinz Ketchup’s pokiness has provided fertile creative ground for the popular condiment and agency Rethink. It inspired the all-red puzzle the brand created for those hankering for something to do during lockdown, as well as a patience-testing website promotion that made consumers wait 57 whole minutes for the chance to win a burger kit.

Burger King is no stranger to gridlock-inspired ideas either. In a previous campaign from We Believers, the fast feeder allowed customers to order Whopper delivery straight to their cars when they were stuck in traffic.