From the Not for Nothin’ file: This is not going to work
Ratti’s breakdown: “Heinz Says Sorry for Being 150 Years Late to the Pasta Sauce Party” is one of the lines but our feeling is it’s a fun campaign but the product name is stopping me in my tracks. Think about it. What do you think Heinz pasta sauce is like? One Word: Watery
And what’s this ad? It looks like something out of a “How to design a print ad” from the 60’s!
CHICAGO, IL: As a purveyor of tomato products, the brand apologizes for not launching the products until now
In the world of marketing, apology ads have become a genre unto themselves. Often they strike an earnest tone, as when Samsung apologized for its combustible phones in 2016. Sometimes the atonement comes with a subtle dose of humor—KFC’s award-winning “FCK” ad after its chicken shortage is a notable example.
Heinz’s latest campaign falls into the latter camp. But the brand is apologizing for a less serious failing: never having come up with a pasta sauce before now.
Heinz may be best known for its ketchup, but it is launching a range of pasta sauces in the U.K. So why apologize? Its new product line, coming more than 150 years after the company was founded, is “ridiculously late,” according to the brand.
As a food business with “unrivalled tomato expertise,” the company has “let [founder Henry Heinz] down by not creating the pasta sauce the British public deserves. Until now,” a print ad elaborates.
The ad goes on to promise consumers that the pasta sauces were worth the wait, “because nothing so ridiculously good has come so ridiculously late.”
Wunderman Thompson Spain created the work and was also involved in the conceptualization, packaging design and launch strategy. The campaign launched with a full-page spread in British newspaper The Guardian and a billboard in Leicester Square in London.
Heinz’s ready-to-use pasta sauces come in seven different varieties, all of which have a tomato base. Its feature item in the range is a tomato sauce for Bolognese, which is fitting because spaghetti Bolognese is one of the most popular dishes in the U.K., according to a recent survey.
“The launch of the new Heinz Pasta Sauces is an important step in our strategy to expand the brand into new categories,” Caio Fontenele, new ventures director at Kraft-Heinz, said in a statement. “It was natural to have launched a pasta sauce, but we didn’t. Yes, we are ridiculously late. The Wunderman Thompson collaboration, and fresh eyes on our brand, resulted in a powerful and simple campaign that points up the iconicity of Heinz in a rejuvenated way without trying too hard.”
Heinz New Ventures Head of Adjacencies: Alexandra Bayet, Heinz New Ventures Director: Caio Fontanele
Creative Agency: Wunderman Thompson Spain
Chief Client Officer: José Maria Piera
Chief Creative Officer: David Caballero
Executive Creative Directors: Pipo Virgós and Paco Badia
Creative Director: Gloria Hernandez
Art Directors: Monica Casamor, Carlos Galán and Sergi Boixadera
Copywriters: Estel Ladra and Albert Xifra
Strategic Planner: Ana Alonso
Head of Production: Susanna Bergés
Account Directors: Natalia Gasulla and Alexandra Garrote
Account Executive: Bet Cunillera
Production Company: Oxígeno
Producer: Claudia Baurier
Director: Jorge Palomares Stasny
DOP: Daniel Robles