Is that Heinz? Using your brand to solve a business issue

I love coming across examples of brand campaigns that solve real business issues. Not trying to indirectly influence the business. Identifying a tangible barrier to growth and finding a creative way to directly break through it. One such example is the Is that Heinz? campaign from Turkey that I learnt about via Contagious (1). Below we look at the business problem, the brand solution, the results and some key learning.

The business problem

The business problem was the practice of independent restaurants re-filling empty Heinz ketchup bottles with other types of cheaper ketchup (see below). This created two main issues. First, Heinz was clearly missing out on sales volumes. An additional issue was potential brand damage. People consuming the cheaper ketchup in a Heinz bottle could mistakenly think there was something wrong with the product.

The brand solution

The Heinz team identified the exact shade of Pantone red of Heinz Tomato Ketchup. They then added this colour to the labels of its ketchup bottles in Turkey. This allowed people to detect if they were being served served authentic Heinz Ketchup or a dodgy rip-off in a Heinz bottle (see below). By getting customers to call Turkish restaurants out, Heinz Ketchup put pressure on the outlets to purchase and stock authentic Heinz,” as Contagious explains (1).


According to the agency involved, 97% of consumers were able to spot the real Heinz ketchup from imitations. “The fun and PR-able initiative empowers people to search for authentic Heinz Ketchup, increasing its value and urging restaurants to fill their ketchup bottles with the real deal,” as Contagious comment (1). The campaign resulted in an impressive 73% reduction in restaurants doing non-Heinz ketchup refills and a 24% increase in Heinz ketchup usage in street food restaurants.

The campaign was also effective at driving brand visibility (see below), with 100,000 organic share on social media and 800,000 likes on Tik Tok.

Key learning

Is that Heinz? is not only a great idea. It has been executed with excellence. Here are a few key learnings:

  1. Get real: highlight a real business issue, a “pain point” that is creating issues.
  2. Get out of the office: to do this, you get out in the field and talk to people on the ground.
  3. Use the whole mix: the key to this campaign was not relying on communication alone. “Baking the idea in” to the pack itself was the secret sauce.
  4. Express your brand personality: look at the detailed execution above and you can see some nice touches that express the brand’s personality. “Is that even ketchup?” cheekily asks the visual with the Pantone colour guide, for example.
  5. Reinforce quality: the campaign cleverly reinforces the idea that Heinz ketchup is the authentic, best tasting ketchup
  6. Make it PR-able: the campaign could have been dull, rational and focused only on the trade. By making it fun and interactive, Heinz engaged consumers and drove buzz.

In conclusion, Is that Heinz? is a great example of using your brand to solve a real business issue. I hope to see more examples like this to blog about in the coming months.


1. Contagious article