Blog: Katy AskewHeinz marketing gets “creative”

Katy Askew | 25 February 2010

Heinz booked an impressive third-quarter performance in the UK today (25 February), where sales volumes increased 9% on last year.

While the company admitted that sales of “winter warmers” like its iconic soup range were boosted by the cold snap, management made much of the “creative” marketing approach that the team this side of the pond has developed.

Initially, I assumed that Heinz's top brass was referring to the group's “it has to be Heinz” umbrella campaign launched earlier this autumn.

This multi-platform campaign, Heinz's largest marketing investment in the UK in the last five years, has included radio, TV, in-store promotion, PR and web activity. All very impressive.

However, while EVP and CFO Art Winkleblack and Margaret Nollen, VP of investor relations, gave a nod in the general direction of this impressive line-up, it was a marketing stunt of a different calibre that really caught their attention.

Apparently, Heinz's intrepid marketing team braved the snow to find the UK's coldest bus stop (located in Scotland). They then gave it a giant woolly hat.

This 'outrageous' stunt has clearly raised some mirth at Heinz HQ. And, apparently, it also generated quite a few headlines in the UK.

Really? I think those of us at the just-food office must have blinked and missed this extensive coverage. Either that or it got lost in the vast quantity of weather-related news we have been bombarded with this winter. (Yes, we get it, it's cold!)

Never fear, a quick Google search throws up a result that explains all.

According to News: Lite (which carries the tag line “it barely qualifies as news” - says it all really), Heinz not only gave freezing commuters a giant bobble hat to rest under, they also provided warming soup to keep out the chill.

Apparently, we could be in for some more promotional antics from those crazy cats at Heinz, as the company plans to boost its marketing spend by a further 50% year-on-year over the coming three months.

We wait with baited breath.


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