Heinz by Nature celebrates ‘lockdown lovebabies’ with new clothing collection

Who: Kraft Heinz Canada (Heinz by Nature) and No Fixed Address.

What: “The Lockdown Lovebaby Collection,” a new limited-edition line of onesies and bibs celebrating a wave of new babies expected to arrive this month—exactly nine months after the lockdown started and people had to come up with ways to pass the time.

When & Where: The product line launches at HeinzLockdownLoveBaby.com this week (Dec. 18), exactly nine months after the lockdown took effect (items are free to any baby born on that day). A countdown clock on the website reads: “Your quarantine ‘project’ is almost here.” The product line is being supported by a paid media campaign running across Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest that includes both a 40- and 15-second video.

Why: Well, when two people love each very much and find themselves stuck at home with nothing to do…

But seriously, there’s been a lot of talk about a potential baby boom arising out of the pandemic-induced lockdown, with a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid finding that more than one-third of Canadians have announced— or know someone who announced—their pregnancy since the March lockdown.

“Most of these parents have had anything but a normal pregnancy, with a lot of fear, chaos, and uncertainty, and in spite of it all they chose to bring new life into the world, something that deserves to be celebrated,” said Heena Verma, senior marketing manager, brand build and innovation at Kraft Heinz of the made-in-Canada program. “We wanted to allow these parents and new little ones to proudly claim their covid conception status, adding some humour and lightness to a challenging time.”

How: As with its “Slowest puzzle on Earth” from earlier this year, Kraft Heinz has demonstrated a knack for developing real-world products that align with its brands, while at the same time tapping into the cultural zeitgeist.

This collection is no different, with clothing items featuring fun COVID-related slogans like “my parents put more than just sourdough buns in the oven,” and “while you were hoarding TP my parents were making me.”

It’s a concept that aligns with the company’s internal philosophy of “acts, not ads,” said Verma. “[It’s] finding unique ways to engage our consumers in conversations that are relevant and timely in culture. When this insight was presented to our team it made too much sense to pass up.”

The accompanying video introducing the new collection, “The quarantine birds and the bees,” is similarly on-point. The animated spot uses images of animals to address all of the ways humans responded to suddenly having lots of extra time on their hands, from taking up gardening and cooking to, well, other pursuits (represented here by a winking eggplant reference). “It was only natural that they just got busy,” says the voiceover.

And we quote: “The lockdown obviously brought a lot of hard, tough, bad news. But in spite of everything, these parents did more than master the perfect sourdough loaf. Celebrating and recognizing this new generation was a nice way to remind people that some good came from this strange time in our lives, too.” — Jordan Doucette, president and partner, No Fixed Address

Chris Powell