Rethink’s Mike Dubrick tells Addison Capper about an Oscars campaign that involved creating an official actor page for Heinz - before it was snubbed and deleted
Heinz’s glass bottles of ketchup are ubiquitous and iconic. And they’re surprisingly woven throughout culture. The team at Canadian agency Rethink spotted that it had been featured in hundreds of movies. Coinciding with the Oscars, the agency created its own official page on IMDB's actor database. But they got snubbed. Shortly after the page was live, it got pulled.
In response, Rethink asked Canadians - and the world - to flood the internet with movies featuring Heinz. As a reward, they'd get a free bottle of ketchup.
LBB's Addison Capper chatted with Rethink creative director Mike Dubrick to find out more.
LBB> What was the brief like from Heinz that led to this cheeky project? And what were you thinking when you first saw it?
Mike> The goal was to find ways to further cement Heinz's iconic status. And as we dug into it, the ubiquity of the glass Heinz bottle really stood out. It's something we literally see every single day, whether it's in our lives, or in movies and TV. There's a handful of brands that could do this - that's a luxury we didn't want to pass up.
LBB> What were the starting points when developing the campaign? Why did you go down this route instead of a traditional TV spot?
Mike> For us, the most powerful articulation of the idea lived in digital. It not only gave us the chance to get consumers involved, it also allows us to create a malleable campaign that could shift and change in real-time.
LBB> Let's talk about the first part of the campaign - making the actor page! Firstly, did you expect it to get taken down?
Mike> We had contingencies in place that certainly stopped us from having to scramble when the page was taken down. Our hope was (and is!) that they would let the page live. If Wilson the volleyball gets its own page, then why not Heinz?
LBB> Logistically it must have been a pretty hefty task! How did you go about actually working out all of the movies that Heinz Ketchup had featured in?
Mike> This was one of our biggest challenges for sure. But, there's always a way. In the end, it was a combination of approaches that included some product placement experts in LA and some late nights scouring through movies here at the office. And of course, the whole thing was designed for consumer engagement, so the success of the campaign really hinged on their active involvement.
LBB> What kind of engagement did you see to the initiative?
Mike> As a start, we had over 3,000 comments on Facebook and an additional 3,000 on Instagram within the first day. To put that in perspective, this is for a population half the size of the UK and would be the equivalent of 60,000 comments in the US.
LBB> And how did people get hold of their free ketchup?
Mike> It's a bit tactical, but as responses came in, we DM'd consumers with unique links to download the free coupon. Pretty straightforward stuff.
LBB> Heinz is such a cultural brand - can we expect campaigns of a similar ilk in the future?
Mike> My hope is that we're just getting started.