How Heinz is helping runners refuel

Over the past few years, Heinz has produced a series of clever campaigns for a wide range of distinct brand fans—puzzlers, football fans, those stuck in traffic, those who love movies, fashionistas who are also messy eaters.

Now, just ahead of the New York City marathon, Heinz has a unveiled a campaign targeting runners. In a handful of key markets, including Toronto, New York and San Francisco, users of the popular running aps Strava and MapMyRun can try out a route in the shape of the brand’s iconic logo, which will also identify stops where runners can get free Heinz ketchup packets.

The big question for many non-runners—and we suspect, some runners as well—is why?

“Through social listening, we discovered something really unique about the running community—runners were actually bringing Heinz ketchup packets to fuel their runs,” said Simon Au, executive creative director at Kraft Heinz’s in-house agency The Kitchen. “In response to our fan’s needs, we created keystone-shaped routes in running apps so runners always know where to find Heinz and to support them with unexpected, alternative energy fuels.”

In Toronto, it’s two Rosie’s Burger locations in the city’s downtown core.

The campaign is backed by social advertising, including a video ad which explains that some runners suck back ketchup for energy, and how Heinz has made it easier for people to refuel mid-run with free Heinz.

“As a brand that prides itself on the irrational love it inspires, this campaign was an opportunity to show up in a way only Heinz could,” said Au.

David Brown