Heinz gets sappy for its sesquicentennial

Who: Kraft Heinz Canada, Rethink, Starcom (media), Radke (production), Alter Ego (post-production), Vapor RMW (audio).

What: “True Love,” a new campaign celebrating Heinz Ketchup’s 150th anniversary.

When & Where: The campaign debuted this week on TV, with additional digital and social assets following this summer.

Why: The goal, says Nina Patel, head of brand build communications and innovation at Kraft Heinz Canada, is to reinforce the “deep emotional connection” fans have with the brand by highlighting the “timeless love story” between food and Heinz Ketchup. Plus, a sesquicentennial is always cause for a marketing celebration.

How: A 30-second spot chronicles the journey of a lonely, slightly anthropomorphic potato from farm to fry, where it meets its true love, Heinz Ketchup. It’s all sound-tracked by Heart’s 1980s mega-hit “What About Love,” which seems like an appropriately goopy song for a ketchup brand.

Wow, those ’80s power ballads are really enjoying a resurgence: Sort of. Between this and the Canadian Real Estate Association’s recent appropriation of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” we’re suddenly awash in overwrought ’80s hits. They always say things come in threes, which means Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love” might make an appearance at some point.

And we quote: “[It’s] a story that reflects the indescribable truth about Heinz, that our favourite foods just aren’t the same without it.”  —Patel.

Chris Powell