Quick! Draw Ketchup!

It’s been a while since I’ve written about one of my favorite topics- TV commercials.

Commercials are like the tweets of the video world, trying to get their message across in less than one minute. Not only is there usually good music and humor, but the commercial also has to try and sell you a product. And all this in about a minute or so. Quite impressive if you ask me.

The most recent one to catch my eye (it’s actually from January 2021) is from and its Canadian ad agency Rethink. The ad invited consumers across five continents to “draw ketchup.”

Fortunately for the brand, the majority of them drew bottles of Heinz—going so far as to include the brand’s name and logo (albeit with one misspelling), its famous “57” number and the tomatoes on the vine that appear on its label. There was one outlier, however, and he drew mustard.

In partaking in the experiment, the only thing that subjects “knew was that they were participating in an anonymous social experiment for a commercial,” says Rethink Managing Partner and ECD Mike Dubrick. “They had no idea what brand it was for.”

The campaign highlights the global iconicism of the brand and its packaging. Heinz took some of the sketches so far (even the poor ones) and is featuring them in an online video as well as digital billboards.

Daniel Gotlib, associate director of brand building and innovation at Kraft Heinz Canada, noted, “We wanted to uncover that instinctual and intuitive association consumers have between ketchup and Heinz. When we anonymously asked consumers to simply draw ketchup, we learned that when people think ketchup, they think and visualize Heinz—everything from our deep red colour and distinctive name to the keystone label and, of course, our iconic glass bottle.”

Heinz is also inviting others to join in the fun and add their own drawings at DrawKetchup.ca. Through Jan. 31, Canadians can submit their drawings on the site for a chance to win one of 250 custom Heinz bottles featuring their label.

You can see some of the billboards and bottles featuring these drawings in the image at the top of this post.

If I were one of the participants, my drawing would be a tall rectangle, with a much smaller rectangle on top, colored in using a combo of orange and red crayons, with the word ketchup on it. Needless to say, my drawing would not have been selected for any highlight reel.

Anyway, here’s the commercial:

source: AdAge

*image from Pinterest

66 thoughts on “Quick! Draw Ketchup!

      1. I think it was her second husband; her first was Senator Heinz. After he died, she later married John Kerry, who couldn’t ketchup with Bush in the polls. Both Senators Heinz and later Kerry were ranked as the wealthiest members of the Senate, all thanks to ketchup…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Heinz had a bit of an image problem up here in Canada. A few years ago they closed down their Canadian factory and everyone lost their job. Then French’s took over the factory and hired back all the employees and used Canadian tomatoes to make ketchup. For several years sales of Heinz ketchup were down. They have been looking for ways to get them back. Ways like becoming a Toronto Blue Jays sponsor etc. This ad makes me think they are still working on it and that consumers are fickle and are returning to the fold. Heinz has a lot of clout with grocery chains and it is difficult to get French’s in any size but very large.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried buying cheaper ketchup but my family was outraged. Only Heinz will do. If I were offered a chance to draw ketchup in a social experiment for a commercial, I would damn well draw Heinz into the picture on the likely chance they were financing it and hoping my drawing might get featured.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! They have cornered the market. The mystery is, how did they do it? I can’t think of one other brand besides Heinz. The commercial was amusing and clever. I especially like how they included the last guy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. the last guy was good; when they first showed home drawing with both hands, I thought he was some kind of genius. he still might be, but drawing mustard doesn’t help. The only other one I can think of is Hunt’s…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The guy who drew Mustard reminds me of my husband LOL he likes to get on people’s nerves like that 🤣

    I do think it’s such an interesting form of psychology when you look at how branding is tied to childhood nostalgia and feelings of familiarity and comfort.. Without even realizing it… An iconic Ketchup commercial when I was growing up was the kid with the glasses putting Ketchup on his crinkle cut fries!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know why but this also reminds me of when Milk threatened to sue or actually did sue Soy for calling their product milk so now it’s called Silk. 😂🤣 I feel like I already shared this, anyhow, that always fascinated me..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the dairy indsutry has tried to stop all of the plant-based milks from being allowed to call themselves milk (like almond milk, oat milk, etc). So far, the dairy industry has not had success…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. great ad concept. a risk, but then they didn’t have to use it if it didn’t turn out as hoped/planned, so really no risk except for being out some dollars for the process. I probably would have drawn a splat of ketchup on a plate, as I’m not a good artist, but if I drew a bottle, it would also have been Heinz. really great test of how strong the brand is –

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are but a few companies who enjoy this kind of brand recognition. The most successful I can think of is Kleenex. Their brand name has become synonymous with “tissue”, which is what they manufacture along with several other companies. But I often hear people asking if someone has a Kleenex rather than a tissue. And I don’t know why, but I am intrigued by the guy who drew mustard. I have always loved a non-conformist or the village idiot, whichever one he may be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Kleenex is in an enviable position. Coke is up there as well. At first I was impressed with the mustard guy since he was drawing with two hands, but then the mustard thing happened. So like you, I’m not sure what to think of him!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I can understand this association with certain brands to a particular product – like hoover to vacuum cleaner, Google to search engine etc.

    The only question is why limit the competition to Canada, I want those 250 bottles!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m a failure. I never even thought to draw a bottle. I pictured a red splat of gross condiment. (I hate ketchup.) But, being a Pittsburgh girl, I am pro-Heinz. And that’s a fantastic marketing test and ad.

    And can I just say I’m dying about the guy who drew mustard?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What a cool campaign although I wonder how much Heinz has to compete against other like brands since they are so mainstream and an iconic of a brand. So brand recognition is obvious, and I wonder if they lose market share to “craft ketchup?” Kind of like soy sauce, i’m sure most people would draw a Kikkoman brand bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of Kikkoman sauce, but then again I don’t use soy sauce. And I am sure Heinz has lost some market share to craft ketchups, but it still dominates the market…


    1. I probably would have drawn a McDonalds restaurant with a guy sitting inside, lifting up his hamburger bun and squeezing something on to it, with an arrow pointing to what was dripping out of the squeeze packet…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you. I think a botte would be the last thing I would think of if someone told me to draw ketchup. I’d probably be more likely to draw a squeeze packet – I guess that says something about my eating habits…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There have been endless times when a product’s brand becomes the image in our mind . . . like Heinz ketchup. There are many others . . . Xerox for copies, Kleenex for tissue, Bayer for aspirin, Tylenol for pain reliever, Scotch tape.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. First, this is perfect subject matter for a business school prof!

    Second, IDK what I would draw in response to the request. Thank goodness I was never asked because I can’t draw worth shit except for maybe a flower because I had so much practice on my high school and college notebooks. I can’t even draw a straight line!

    This is unlike my daughter who is so artistically talented, at least visually. She is now the archivist for another iconic brand, Kellogg’s. Of course I remember the commercial jingle that spelled out the name ending with “o double good Kellogg’s best to you!” I don’t remember a similar reminder of their corporate location of Battle Creek, thought that may have been a tag line on some other commercials. Either way, it’s a fascinating job (at least that part) and subject and I sure envy her!

    Of course, on the flip side, Kellogg’s is now enduring a strike at their US manufacturing plants which now make up a very small number of their total employees, even across their US locations which are also the minority worldwide. I also saw just this morning on CBS’ Sunday morning something about the miniscule amount of actual strawberries in their strawberry Pop Tarts.

    Finally, I was also awed by the guy who drew using both hands and got a giggle from the guy who confused ketchup wit mustard. Now if I could only find good old plain yellow mustard at my local 99 cent (cents are used stand alone so seldom these days there’s no longer a symbol for them on your standard keyboard!) store. All they had were flavored varieties. IDK if flavored mustards have sold any better than flavored ketchups Heinz tried out not too long ago.

    Since the mustard was featured on discount store shelves I doubt they were big sellers! And BTW for some reason one of my local really big box stores sells “organic” Heinz ketchup. I can’t really tell the difference between that and the non-organic variety. That’s not the case between Heinz and other brands like Hunt’s or even off brands. They just don’t measure up in any perspective e.g. taste, thickness, texture, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for sharing your thoughts; that does sound like a fun job your daughter ha at Kellogg’s. and the mustard guy was funny. It seems that mustard usage has faded away quite a bit, but I did use to like the spicy mustard. Spicy ketchup, not so much…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s