Heinz is the latest brand to do away with its logos and branding with a series of recent print ads – and the condiment giant shows exactly how to do it well. Featuring a range of food that traditionally goes hand-in-hand with Tommy K, the tomato ketchup ads draw on well-known brand elements to make sure the audience instantly recognises the product. A risky move, but Heinz certainly has the chops to pull it off.
The striking ads mould a hot dog, burger and fries into the iconic shape of the Heinz logo (drizzled with red sauce, of course). This, along with the signature red of Heinz's tomato ketchup branding, is enough to communicate that these are indeed ads for the world's most famous condiment. Placing the graphic at the end of the 'it has to be...' tagline is the cherry on top. We think it's done so cleverly it's worthy of our best print ads roundup.
Canadian ad agency, ReThink (opens in new tab), is behind the bold ads, which rely on the brand's notoriety in both the advertising and consumer space. And Rethink had already proved the case for Heinz in this respect.
"Heinz is the originator. It's the Ketchup," said Daniel Gotlib (opens in new tab), associate director, brand building and innovation at KraftHeinz. "Earlier this year, we launched the Draw Ketchup campaign, where we anonymously asked people to simply draw ketchup. What we saw, time and time again, was that people drew the iconic Heinz bottle. That intuitive association with the Heinz logo crystallised our approach for this campaign."
Missed the hilarious draw ketchup campaign? Ketch-up here.
The trend for brandless advertising is sweeping across the industry. But with sandwich brand Subway missing the mark due to sheer minimality, it's clear that not every approach guarantees success. Heinz's ads wittily deploy branding elements like typography, colour and shape to ensure recognition – in a similar way to McDonald's delivery ads or its type-only campaign. Brands have to combine strategy with a genuinely iconic product to make it work, and this isn't always straightforward.