2021 Winner

Kraft Heinz

Ketchup Puzzle


BronzeSocial/Conversational Strategy

Heinz Ketchup is a globally iconic brand that’s long been a staple in Canadian households. That said, it’s seen its fair share of challenges from new category entrants. As a result, the brand started to see brand affinity scores decline as competitors stole share. For the first time, Canadians were questioning whether Heinz was for them.

The objective was to re-ignite an emotional connection with Heinz in a culturally relevant way to bolster consumer loyalty. Heinz sought to stay top of mind by instigating chatter across social media and reinforcing their iconic status as Canada’s #1 Ketchup. To do that, they needed something that would remind Canadians that Heinz Ketchup is the original.

The challenge that stood in their way was how to play up their status without leaning into nostalgia. They needed something that would spark a conversation and insert Heinz into the cultural zeitgeist. Additionally the global pandemic made this even more challenging. Borders closed, non-essential work was halted, and the economy spiraled. Most brands paused advertising or communicated somber messages of support while screens across the globe were taken up by COVID-19 coverage. They needed to do something different to break through.

Lockdowns kept people at home looking for something to do, which made search traffic for puzzles jump by 112%. The agency paired Heinz iconically slow ketchup with a naturally slow pastime to give consumers something to do while stuck at home. They created the world’s slowest puzzle: The Heinz Puzzle. A 570 piece puzzle, a nod to the 57 on the label. The puzzles would be custom designed and manufactured in just a matter of weeks. The puzzle pieces were in Heinz’s custom red pantone and made available to consumers around the world.

Launched on social media, the campaign engaged consumers in over 17 countries, offering them a chance to win a puzzle. A select number of puzzles were produced and shipped to the winners around the world. In addition, video content cemented the idea with consumers and drew global media attention. Puzzles were also shipped to influencers to further the earned potential in the press.

After receiving their puzzles, consumers were encouraged to complete and post their puzzle to social content, flooding their social channels with user generated content that further drove the brand experience online.

After the initial giveaway, the puzzle went on general sale to the public and sold out within days. Launched again for the holidays, it again sold out in days. And in 2021, Heinz signed a licensing agreement with a toy manufacturer to make the puzzle a permanent item at retail.

The puzzle was an instant hit, appealing to consumers across all 17 countries and generating buzz worldwide. It received over 1,000 pieces of earned coverage, and 1.25 billion earned impressions, resulting in $22,439,959 in earned publicity. Notable programs such as The Today Show, ABC World News, and The Tonight Show were among the many to pick it up.

The puzzle was sought after by people around the world, including celebrities like Jimmy Fallon who asked for a physical copy (and received it). In addition, the puzzle was so popular that it started to appear on second hand trading sites like Ebay, selling for over $100.

CCO: Aaron Starkman
Executive Creative Director / Creative Director: Mike Dubrick
Head of Art / Creative Director : Joel Holtby
Art Director: Zachary Bautista
Writer: Geoff Baillie
Designer: Erin Maguire
Strategist: Sean McDonald, Julian Morgan
Producers: Anna Tricinci, Todd Harrison
In-House Photographer: Alex Butt
Print Producer: Narine Artinian
Editor: Tyler Erdelac
Account Services: Kai de Bryun Kops, Allie Kennedy, Amy Greenspoon
Audio House: Vapor Music
Audio Engineer: Art Mullin
Photographer: Chris Robinson
Printer: ProPrint Services Inc.
Head of Brand Build Communications & Innovation: Nina Patel
Senior Brand Manager: Brian Neumann
PR Agency: The Colony Project
Media Agency: Starcom
Community Management: SALT

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.